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Nathan Fanger  |  Associate Head Coach / Throws

One of the longest-tenured track and field coaches in the Mid-American Conference, Kent State graduate Nathan Fanger ‘00 is in his 13th season as a member of the coaching staff and is in charge of the throwers.

"Coach Fanger has coached the most champions and is respected nationwide as one of the top throwing coaches in the country," said Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Bill Lawson. "He is the backbone of our program and we are very fortunate and have Nathan Fanger here at Kent State."

With the Kent State program already widely regarded for success in those events, Fanger has taken the team to new heights during his tenure on the coaching staff. Under his guidance, 50 throwers have won MAC championships, 54 have qualified for NCAA Regional meets, 33 have qualified for the NCAA Championships and 14 have earned All-America status.

The list of successful student-athletes to compete for Kent State under Fanger’s guidance continues to grow.

Success hasn’t been limited to the field of competition for Fanger’s performers. He also has one Academic All-American to his credit.

Following the 2014 indoor season, Coach Fanger was named the Great Lakes Regional Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Under the direction of coach Fanger in the 2013-14 season, the Golden Flashes’ throwers had six school records broke, four indoor and outdoor National Qualifiers with a NCAA Runner-Up in women’s discus and a NCAA National Champion in the men’s hammer throw.

Fanger directed Matthias Tayala to a National title in the men’s hammer throw at the NCAA Division I Outdoor National Championships in May, where he reset his own hammer throw school record to 241’ 4”. Fanger guided Danniel Thomas to a second place in the women’s discus at the outdoor championships in Eugene, Ore.

In Fanger’s time here at Kent State as a coach, since 2001, he has directed 40 females to the Kent State Top-10 All-Time Top Performers List including the school records in four-of-six events while he has coached 28 males to the Kent State Top-10 All-Time Top Performers List including school records in four-of-six events. Fanger still holds the school record in the men’s outdoor discus with a mark set in 2000 at 194’ 3”.

In 2010-11, for the sixth time in his coaching career, Fanger guided both a men’s and women’s student-athlete to the NCAA Championships. The result was an All-American honoree in the women’s hammer throw, the sixth of Fanger’s coaching career.

The 2009 season was one for the history books for Fanger, as five athletes captured conference titles with his assistance. That year, Fanger coached five athletes to conference championships, including former softball standout Kim Hamilton in the javelin. Hamilton had only nine months of training under her belt when she finished fifth in the javelin to earn All-American accolades at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Since his arrival on the Kent State campus, Fanger has aided the Golden Flashes in capturing 11 MAC team championships, including the 2000 men’s outdoor title as a student-athlete.

Fanger, a 2000 graduate of Kent State, was a standout athlete for the Golden Flashes in his own right. He is the only four-time discus champion in MAC history and is one of three Kent State athletes to have won an individual event at the MAC championships in each of their four years. Twice he qualified for the NCAA championships in the discus and he holds the Kent State school record in the event with a throw of 194'-3."

A native of Kalispell, Mont., Fanger graduated from Kent State with a degree in education and resides in Brimfield with his wife, Lori, his sons Jonathan and Adam, and his daughter Savannah.


Michael Schober  |  Short Sprints, Long Sprints, Hurdles, High Jump & Combined Events

Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Bill Lawson recently announced that former Kent State student-athlete, Michael Schober, has been named an assistant track & field coach on his staff.

Schober, who will oversee men’s/women’s high jump, women’s combined event, men’s/women’s hurdles and serve as the assistant in the men’s decathlon for the Golden Flashes, comes back to Kent State after spending a year with the track and field and cross country programs at Mount Union.  

As an assistant coach with the Purple Raiders during the 2012-13 season, Schober worked primarily with the jumps, hurdles and combined events and also assisted the head coach in the development of student-athletes and recruiting.  He helped the men’s outdoor track & field squad capture their third-straight Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) men’s track & field title, and the women to their fourth straight OAC Championship title.  Schober was named the Men’s Great Lakes Division III Assistant Coach of the Year after coaching 12 national qualifiers, four All-Americans and had eight athletes set school record.

“I am extremely pleased to have Michael (Schober) back in the program,” said Lawson.  “He was an outstanding track & field athlete for us and was a great team leader.  Michael helped lead a very successful program at Mount Union, and I feel that he will bring that same winning attitude to Kent State as a coach. He is the final piece of the puzzle on my staff as we move forward into another exciting year.”

Prior to Mount Union, the Penfield, N.Y. native also spent some time at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, where he was the track & field coach at the Michael Johnson Performance Training Center.   Schober taught skills, evaluated and trained athletes, as well as produced strength & conditioning programs, power programs and performed the Functional Movement Screen on athletes.

A graduate of Kent State University where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in physical education-human movement studies in 2012, Schober earned All-MAC honors five times.  A team captain during his senior year, Schober’s score of 5,358 in the heptathlon ranks third all-time in the Kent State record books.  He also spent the 2011-12 season as a volunteer assistant on Lawson’s track & field staff where he worked closely with the high jump and combined events.

Schober also spent three summers as a coach at the Matt Buffum Summer Track Camp in Rochester, N.Y.  He coached two athletes who won state titles in New York and five athletes who received Division I scholarships during his time working at the camp.