Guyanese Olympian appointed head coach of NY college

Aliann Pompey

Four-time Guyanese-born Olympian, Aliann Pompey, has achieved another milestone in her long athletics career.

Pompey has been appointed head coach of the St. John’s Track and Field and Cross-Country program. The appointment comes after Pompey was announced as the new sprints and hurdles coach of the Red Storm in the fall of 2014 and on Nov. 11, 2020, was promoted to the position of associate head coach for the St. John’s track & field program.

Pompey has helped guide the Red Storm sprinters and hurdlers to new heights since her arrival in Queens. Her athletes have rewritten the indoor record book in the 60-meter hurdles, the 200 and 400 meters three times, the 500 meters, the 2×200-meter relay and hold the second-fastest time in program history for the 4×400-meter relay.

The 43-year-old Pompey replaces Jim Hurt, who retired in May after a head coaching career lasting 40 years.

In accepting the position, Pompey said she plans to make St John’s a major force in collegiate athletics.

Aliann Pompey

“I want to thank Mike Cragg for his vote of confidence and his support in appointing me as the head coach,” she said. “It is with great honor that I accept this position. I have seen the growth and successes of this team over the years – from a distance when I was in college, and intimately over the last seven years. I want to continue the tradition of excellence for which we’ve become known. … I am excited to continue working with our returning student-athletes who have committed to making our team better. Joined by the incoming class, we’ll strive to be impactful not just with the Big East, but nationally.”

In addition to her responsibilities as a coach, Pompey currently serves as the president of the Panam Sports Athlete Commission. She was also a member of the Athletes’ Commission and she is also a member of the organization’s executive board and a liaison to the International Olympic Committee. Pompey is now in her third year as the Metropolitan Athletic Conference President.

Pompey represented her home country of Guyana at the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, at five Outdoor World Championships in Athletics, and the IAAF World Indoor Championships on four occasions. Her personal best time in the 400 meters was achieved in August 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany, with a mark of 50.71. During the summer of 2016, Coach Pompey enjoyed another Olympic appearance, however this time in a different capacity – traveling to Rio de Janeiro as an assistant manager with the Guyanese Olympic Team.

 A graduate of Manhattan College, Pompey became the Jaspers’ first-ever national champion after winning the 400-meter dash at the 2000 NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships. Pompey owns the South American indoor record of 51.83 seconds at the distance and was a finalist at the 2010 World Championships; and added a gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

She has also earned a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan American Games