Leo Settle enters his third year at New Mexico overseeing the sprints, relays, hurdles and horizontal jumps after three years in the same role as an assistant coach at Arkansas-Little Rock and a four-year stint (2001-04) as a volunteer sprints coach at UTEP.
In his first year in Albuquerque Settle helped sophomore jumpers Alesha Walker and Deanna Young emerge as two of the nation's premier talents, while senior Ariel Burr capped her fine career as one of the top 400-meter talents in the region.
Walker set the UNM indoor/outdoor long jump records and was ranked sixth nationally in the event outdoors (21-04.00). The MWC Outdoor silver medalist also became the first women's long jumper in UNM history to qualify for the NCAA regional meet and U.S. Olympic Trials.
Young, meanwhile, set the school record in the triple jump in a bronze medal performance at the MWC Indoor Championships and went to become the first Lobo to qualify for the NCAA regional meet in the event. She finished the year ranked among the top-25 nationally in the triple jump (42-10.75) and was one of three Lobos to surpass the regional standard in the long jump. Her top long jump mark of 20-06.25 ranks third on the UNM all-time list.
On the track, senior Ariel Burr earned all-Midwest Region honors with a sixth place finish in the 400 (53.49) and came within 0.08 seconds of an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship meet. Burr also earned all-MWC honors in the event (third), surpassed the regional qualifying standard in the 200 (23.74), and helped the UNM 4x100 relay team advance to the Midwest Championships for the first time in school history. The foursome's time of 45.70 was the fourth-fastest at UNM.
Elsewhere, Settle helped junior Dominick Meadows become the first Lobo to medal in the men's triple jump (third indoors, 48-10.75). Football player Jermaine McQueen finished fourth in the 100 (10.66) at the MWC Championships - the best by a Lobo since 2003 - with just three weeks of training, while sophomore Kim Perkins became the first UNM woman since 2001 to score at the MWC meet in the 400 hurdles (seventh).
Settle coached three NCAA Championship qualifiers at UALR, including All-America 100-meter sprinter Chris Johnson. In 2005, Johnson broke the Sun Belt Conference Championship record in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.24 seconds. Overall, UALR athletes set five school records and recorded 24 top-10 marks under Settle's watch.
Settle also helped the Trojan women post the highest team grade point average in the nation last year (3.610). The UALR men, meanwhile, posted the 19th-best GPA in the country (3.090) under Settle's watch.
During his time in El Paso, Settle and UTEP head coach Bob Kitchens trained a pair of All-America sprinters and helped the Miners' 4x100 relay team reach the NCAA Championship finals three years in a row (2001-03).
An All-American and eight-time individual conference champion at Arkansas-Little Rock, Settle set four individual and two relay school records during his time at UALR. He became the first athlete in Sun Belt Conference history to win all three sprints at a conference championship meet, taking the 55, 200 and 400 at the 1998 SBC Indoor Championships. Settle has since been named to the Sun Belt's All-Time Team for men's indoor and outdoor track.
The Los Angeles native enjoyed a seven-year professional career, including five years on the international circuit, competing in the sprints and relays. He was also a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier and has competed on the United States 4x100 relay team as well, most recently running the anchor leg for the victorious USA squad at Ohio State's Jesse Owens Classic in 2006. Settle owns lifetime bests of 10.26 in the 100, 20.17 in the 200 and 45.95 in the 400.
Settle earned his B.S. in Health Education from Arkansas-Little Rock in 1999 and an associate's degree in Physical Education from Long Beach City College in 1996. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in Exercise Science.
THE LEO SETTLE FILEAlma Mater: Arkansas-Little Rock, `99
Collegiate Athletic Experience: Arkansas Little Rock (sprints - 1996-98), Long Beach City College (sprints - 1994-96)
Professional Athletic Experience: 2000-06 (USA 4x100 relay, 200m)
Personal Records: 10.26 (100m), 20.17 (200m), 45.95 (400m)
All-Americans Coached (5):
2005-07: Assistant Coach (sprints/relays/jumps/hurdles), Arkansas-Little Rock
2001-04: Volunteer Coach (men's sprints), UTEP