Matt Kraft

Matt Kraft

Player Profile

Volunteer Assistant - Throws

Fifth Year

Alma Mater:
University of New Mexico, 2002

Matt Kraft enters his fifth year as the volunteer throwing events coach at the University of New Mexico. A former thrower at Colorado State and New Mexico, Kraft has made a profound impact since joining the UNM coaching staff in 2003. Under his watch, Lobo throwers have won two Mountain West Conference titles, earned all-conference honors eight times and qualified at least two athletes to the NCAA Midwest Region Championship three of the past four years.

Kraft helped Amanda Barnes establish herself as the best all-around women's thrower in UNM history. A two-time MWC shot put champion, five-time indoor/outdoor all-MWC honoree and three-time Midwest Regional qualifier, Barnes also set UNM records in the shot put (indoor/outdoor), weight throw and discus, and had 17 victories during her career. In 2005 she became the first Lobo woman to compete in the shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

During her three years with Kraft, Barnes improved on her personal-best by over six feet in the shot put and over 32 feet in the discus. She also improved her weight throw mark indoors by a full 18 feet between her freshman and senior years.

Jamie Fishencord also enjoyed a meteoric rise under Kraft's watch. A marginal competitor as a true freshman, Fishencord developed into one of the top hammer throwers in the country. In 2005 she became the first Lobo ever to earn all-MWC honors in the event and her school record mark of 192-06 was ranked sixth in the Midwest Region. She also improved by over 38 feet in the discus while training with Kraft.

The UNM men also experienced dramatic improvement under Kraft's tutelage. Jason Barkemeyer earned all-MWC honors in the shot put for the first time in his career in 2003 and qualified for regionals in both the shot and discus two years in a row. Barkemeyer and Joshua Parra were each ranked among the league's top-10 in the hammer throw in 2004. In 2005, Jordan Parker earned all-MWC honors in the discus and was a regional qualifier in the shot and discus.

In just two years with Kraft, Barkemeyer improved six feet in the shot and 20 in the discus. Parker, meanwhile, upped his PR by nearly 22 feet in the discus and over six feet in the shot between his sophomore and senior seasons.

Kraft coached track and field (1993, 2001) and football (1994) at Albuquerque Manzano High School, where he captured state shot put and discus titles in 1992. His father, Ed Kraft, also competed for the UNM track and field program.

A U.S. Army veteran, the 33-year-old Kraft concluded his collegiate career, which began at Colorado State, at New Mexico in 2002. He also earned his degree in Political Science from UNM in 2002. Kraft and his wife Tanjia were married in 1998.