Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Jenn Suhr to coach pole vaulting at Roberts Wesleyan University

Roberts Wesleyan alum and Olympic gold medalist Jenn Suhr returns to that university to help coach pole vaulting.
Roberts Wesleyan University
provided photo
Roberts Wesleyan alum and Olympic gold medalist Jenn Suhr returns to that university to help coach pole vaulting.

A local university will soon have an Olympic gold medalist on its athletic staff.

Jenn Suhr said on Twitter last weekend that she will be returning to Roberts Wesleyan University, her alma mater, to coach pole vault, an event that she says shaped her life.

Suhr, who has won numerous awards and titles over her athletic career including both a silver and a gold medal in the Olympics, said that Roberts Wesleyan has given her the freedom to develop a unique pole vault program.

Suhr said that unlike most colleges where pole vault is put to the side, the sport will be recognized and supported by the track team, athletic program and university, all together.

A statement released by Roberts Wesleyan on Monday said that Suhr will oversee training and recruitment for student-athletes competing in the university’s Division II pole-vault program. She will coach the team alongside Chris Brhel, who will continue in his role as pole vault coach at Roberts Wesleyan. Suhr will assume her duties as assistant men's and women's track and field coach immediately.

In additional to her new role as coach, Suhr will be inducted into the Roberts Wesleyan University Athletic Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 30.

“We are proud to welcome home a true Roberts Wesleyan University and Western New York sports icon to be a coach in the program that helped vault her into the worldwide track and field spotlight,” said Bob Segave, executive director of athletics at Roberts Wesleyan University. “Suhr excelled as a student-athlete at Roberts and is admired for her many professional pole-vaulting accomplishments. I have great faith in Jenn and her ability to transform the lives of student-athletes and make an impact on the men’s and women’s track and field program into the future.”

Suhr said in her tweet that she didn’t start pole vaulting until she was 22, and if she wasn’t given the chance, she never would have become an Olympic gold medalist.

The 41-year-old Suhr, a Fredonia native who has lived for years in the Riga area, retired from her pole vaulting career in 2022.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.