PHS graduate Deem headed to Moscow with USA track team

PARKERSBURG -Parkersburg High School graduate Amy Deem, fresh off coaching the United States women’s track team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, once again has been asked to serve at a prestigious international competition.

Deem will serve as relay coach for Team USA during the 14th World Outdoor Championships, set for Aug. 10-18 in Moscow, Russia.

Beth Alford-Sullivan, the head coach at Penn State University, and Mike Holloway, who serves in that capacity at the University of Florida, were named as the head coaches of the American squad. After learning of their appointments, they asked Deem to join them in Moscow, an assignment she enthusiastically accepted.

“For me it’s lot less responsibility,” Deem said. “I just have the relays to focus on, and that is a huge responsibility, but at the same time it’s different than the head coach of the whole national team.”

Deem’s U.S. Olympic team accounted for six gold medals, as well as four silver and four bronze.

Deem is in her 22nd season at the University of Miami in Florida, where she serves as director of track and field and cross country. Three of her Hurricane athletes joined her at the Olympic games, including Lauryn Williams, who won a gold medal.

Deem is happy to play any role as long as it advances the sport of track and field. She brings a passion to the sport possessed by few others.

Deem said the goal for the U.S. team in Moscow is to bring home at least two gold medals in the relays.

“The U.S. expects to win and I don’t expect anything less either,” she said. “I really love the interaction with some of the greatest athletes in the world. For me, when you stop learning, it’s time to get a new job.”

Deem isn’t looking for a new job. She became just the sixth woman to be in charge of the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country programs at a major Division I university and has dedicated herself to building a powerhouse program at Miami.

When Deem took over the Miami women’s program in 1990, the Hurricanes had never had a single athlete record an NCAA qualifying mark. Under Deem’s tenure, 43 Hurricane athletes have combined to earn 149 all-America honors and win 12 national individual championships.

Deem is a 1984 graduate of Parkersburg High, where she ran for legendary coach Susan Gardner.