WCU’s Ryan McKenzie coaches at 2022 FISU America Games

Coach Ryan McKenzie of William Carey University helped coach U.S. track and field athletes at...
Coach Ryan McKenzie of William Carey University helped coach U.S. track and field athletes at the 2022 FISU America Games in Merida, Mexico.(William Carey University)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 9:43 PM CST
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Press release from the William Carey University Office of Media Relations and Marketing.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - William Carey University’s Ryan McKenzie got the chance of a lifetime when he was asked to coach at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) America Games in Merida, Mexico.

McKenzie is the associate head coach of the WCU Men’s Track & Field Team.

“I was contacted by the head track and field coach at Southeastern University in Florida, Nick Dobson, to be a part of the 2022 FISU America Games, because he was taking a team,” McKenzie said. “He said he was seeking assistants, had been watching me and my accomplishments over the years, and wanted me to be a part of his coaching staff to help with the jumps and sprints.”

This year’s games were held Oct. 14-26. McKenzie said the track has been a huge part of his life for a long time.

“I ran track in high school at East Marion,” McKenzie said. “I ran track at Alcorn State University, which catapulted me to graduate from there and start my teaching career at East Marion, where I coached track and field. I left there and went to Oak Grove High School and now I’m here at William Carey University.”

Now, in his ninth season at WCU, McKenzie’s emphasis as a coach is horizontal and vertical jumps.

McKenzie’s athletes have excelled at the conference and national level – including 33 conference champions, 44 national championship qualifiers, 33 All-Americans, nine national champions and the national record-holder in men’s long jump.

The FISU America Games are a multi-sport competition for North and South America held every two years. The U.S. delegation competed in 15 sports against athletes from more than 20 countries.

“My primary event was the jumps,” McKenzie said. “I specialize in jumps. I love jumps. Jumps are considered field events. You have things you do on the track, and things you do on the field.”

“We went over and brought a few medals back. We brought several silvers, a few bronzes and one gold, so overall I think it was a success. So, just being out there, being in another country, it really humbled me to meet new people and to network with other coaches from different countries.”

McKenzie thanked William Carey University for its support.

“I want to show gratitude to our athletic director, DJ Pulley and our president, Dr. Ben Burnett, for allowing me to have the time to be a part of this. I want to pay homage to them for allowing me to do such a thing,” McKenzie said.

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