Jason Schutz enters his fourth season as an assistant coach for both the Matador men's and women's track & field teams specializing in the shot put, discus, hammer and javelin throws.
Under Schutz’s guidance, the 2014 season saw a resurgence in the historically strong Matadors throws program with a young and talented group of returners and recruits from across the nation. Sophomore Monique Griffiths (Nova, FL), led the way for the women with an appearance at the NCAA West Regional meet at the University of Arkansas in both the discus (168’3”) and hammer throw (187’11”), in addition to two top 3 finishes at the Big West Championships. The Matador women also had eight throws performers achieve marks in the top 100 of the NCAA West Region on the year. At the Big West Championship meet at UC Davis, the Matador women scored a dominant 55 points in the throws, 20 points better than the next best throws group. They were let by junior Mariah Counts (Poway, CA), who scored 25 individual points with four lifetime best performances good enough for 3rd in the shot put (47’10”), 2nd in the discus (163’), 3rd in the javelin (146’) and 4th in the hammer throw (180’6”). When it was all said and done, the Matadors notched seven new marks on CSUN’s all-time top 10 lists in the discus, hammer and javelin throws.
The men also saw a marked improvement during the 2014 campaign. With only one returner and a group of nine talented newcomers, the men showed vast progress in depth across the board. The men were led by redshirt freshman Zach Rosales (Selma,CA) and true freshman Evan Arnott (Mohrsville, PA), the former 15th ranked discus thrower in the nation as a high school senior. Arnott was the top finisher at the Big West Championships for the Matador men, with a 5th place finish in the discus throw, finishing as the top freshman in the conference. Rosales also had a great first showing at the Big West Championships, with a lifetime best in the shot put, finishing in 7th place in addition to being the only freshman to make the final.
Despite having a banner year athletically, the Matador throwers most impressive honors were received as a result of their hard work in the class room. The Matador throwers accounted for seven athletes on the Big West All-Academic Team, as well as having eight athletes inducted to the CSUN Varsity N Club. To be inducted to the Varsity N, a student must post a 3.2 GPA or higher each semester during any given year.
During the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the Matador men and women began to take steps toward building the program into a Big West power. Tucker Weathers completed his successful career in 2013 as a two time NCAA Preliminary Round qualifier in the shot put (57’PR) and as the Big West runner up in the hammer throw (191’PR). Also during that span, Monique Griffiths completed a stellar freshman year, qualifying for the NCAA Preliminary Round in the discus and finishing as one of the top freshmen in the NCAA. In addition, CSUN had two ladies qualify for the USATF National Junior Championships in three events, with Griffiths in the discus and hammer, and freshman Jakayla Daniels in the shot put.
Prior to CSUN, Schutz coached for two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. His main focus with the Panthers was the development of the team's discus, hammer, shot put and javelin throwers. During Schutz’s tenure at PITT, the throws group improved dramatically, led by FR Jess Rocco. Rocco qualified for the NCAA Preliminary Round and the USATF national junior championships in the javelin (152’PR).
Schutz joined the Panthers after serving a year as a volunteer assistant track and field coach at his alma mater, Colorado State. There, he helped oversee the training and development of 18 throwers in 2008-09. He worked alongside Brian Bedard, the head coach at CSU, who has accumulated over 24 years of coaching experience, and has coached 32 All-Americans and two national champions. Additionally, Schutz worked as a strength coach for the athletic department, assisting with the track and field team.
.A 2008 graduate from Colorado State with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource management, he also minored in watershed science. During his collegiate career, Schutz was a three-time All-American, as well as an Academic All-American and team captain. He competed in the discus, hammer and weight throw events at the NCAA Championships. Additionally, Schutz qualified for three USATF Outdoor Championships in the discus throw. He was also a 2008 Olympic Trials participant in the discus.