Olympic hopeful Wilfredo de Jesus has joined the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as a fulltime track and field coach.
De Jesus will work primarily with the throwers but will also help with the strength training and off-season work for all speed and power events.
De Jesus, who is eyeing to compete in the 2012 London Olympics, is the 2007 Puerto Rican National Athlete of the Year. He also is Puerto Rico's record holder in the Under-23 hammer throw at 64.39 meters and brings a wealth of experience in the throwing events.
"We are thrilled to welcome coach de Jesus to the Academy," men's and women's head track coach Gregory Lott said. "He is a skilled technician that is well versed in all throwing events. Competing at such a high level has given him experience in several types of throwing programs and allowed him to accumulate the knowledge necessary to help other athletes excel. His work ethic and energy will be a strong asset to our program as a whole while he helps to build the dominate throws group within the Landmark Conference."
De Jesus has represented Puerto Rico at several international competitions including the Central American and Caribbean Championships in 2009 (Havana, Cuba) and in 2010 (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico) finishing as high as seventh place in the hammer. He was a bronze medalist at the 2007 Junior Pan American Games in the same event.
He also has been involved in competitive weightlifting since high school, where he twice finished as national runner-up for Puerto Rico in the Super-Heavyweight class. He currently competes for USA Weightlifting during his "off-season" in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk.
His collegiate honors included the IC4A indoor champion in the weight throw (2011), IC4A outdoor champion in the hammer throw (2011), America East indoor champion in the weight throw (2009, 2010 and 2011),America East outdoor champion in the hammer throw (2009, 2011), America East Conference indoor performer of the year (2011) and SUNY-Albany indoor MVP (2011).
De Jesus earned a B.S. degree in human biology at SUNY-Albany in 2011.