Joe Franklin's track squad opens the 2012 indoor campaign with a host of talented newcomers
Starting his third year on the Lobo staff Zuyderwyk was promoted to Associate Head Coach by Joe Franklin in 2010.
During his first year with the Lobos Coach "Z" took Sandy Fortner to All American status in the indoor Pentathlon and freshman Richard York to a new indoor school record in the Heptathlon. He also brought De'Vron Walker to a school record in the 60 meter Hurdles, and Precious Selmon broke the women's school record in the 60 meter hurdles as well. During the outdoor campaign York emerged as the top American freshman decathlete and finished the season ranked 26th nationally while winning the MWC title with a score of 7292. Fortner repeated as MWC Heptathlon champion and qualified to the NCAA Championships.
During 2010-11 Zuyderwyk led Selmon to the MWC indoor title, establishing a new UNM record. Walker set a new indoor school record in the 60 hurdles. York claimed the indoor conference title in the heptathlon and earned the MWC indoor athlete of the year honors. Margo Tucker established a new indoor school record in the pole vault. In the outdoor season York claimed the decathlon at the MWC championship and qualified to the NCAA championships for the first time. Amber Menke went over 13' in the pole vault while freshmen Logan Pflibsen cleared 17'.
Prior to coming to UNM he spent the previous eight years at Purdue University where he earned 2008 and 2009 Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. In his last seven years at Purdue, Zuyderwyk's athletes broke 17 school records, nine Big Ten records, three American Collegiate records and three USA open National records. They also won 50 Big Ten medals, including 19 Big Ten event titles, seven NCAA Mideast Regional event titles, two NCAA Championship gold medals and three USA open event titles.
During his time at Purdue, Zuyderwyk established one of the finest javelin programs in the country. Purdue was the only university to boast three women's throwers over the 180-foot barrier and the only two American collegiate throwers to ever break the 60-meter barrier. His athletes won two NCAA titles, five NCAA Mideast Regional titles, and in 2009 Kara Patterson won her second straight U.S. Championship and qualified for the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany with a career-best throw of 63.95 meters (209-10) - just 24 centimeters shy of the American record. Patterson became Purdue's first female track and field Olympian in 2008, winning the U.S. Olympic Trials, breaking the Olympic trials record. Patterson set an American Collegiate record with her throw of 61.56 meters (202-00) at the 2008 Big Ten Championships. She was just the second American woman to eclipse the 200-foot barrier. In 2002, Serene Ross won both Big Ten and NCAA Championship titles, and broke the American record. Two weeks later, Ross improved her American record to 197-00 and became the USA open national champion, gaining selection to the U.S. team and becoming the first woman to throw over 60 meters in the U.S. In the Pole Vault over the last seven years, the Boilermaker vaulters earned 22 Big Ten medals, including eight conference titles, under Zuyderwyk's tutelage. Purdue had six vaulters qualify for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships in 2009 after sending seven to regionals in 2008.
Upon his hiring Head Coach Joe Franklin said, "To have a coach of Rodney's caliber join our outstanding staff shows that UNM is a destination program for both athletes and coaches," said Franklin. "He brings instant credibility with his longtime success training athletes in the javelin, pole vault and multi events and we're very excited to have him."
In college, Zuyderwyk competed for Washington State University, helping the Cougars to a Pac-10 Championship, and a runner-up finish at the 1991 NCAA Outdoor Championships. After graduation Zuyderwyk represented Australia in the 110-meter hurdles and 4x100-meter relay at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. He finished sixth at the World Cup in the 110-meter hurdles and sixth at the World Student Games in the decathlon.
Zuyderwyk earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and sports administration from Washington State in 1993 and received a postgraduate diploma in sports psychology from the University of Queensland in 1995, while earning an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland in 2000. Zuyderwyk and his wife, Jill, have two sons, Brock and Tristan.