• Has coached student-athletes to four World Championship medals, including 2 gold
  • Has coached individual NCAA champions in seven of nine field events

Jerry Clayton

My passion is assisting student-athletes to develop themselves as individuals as well as improving their physical and mental strengths as track and field athletes, and I expect them to strive to be their best at all times. This sport can assist in educating and preparing student-athletes with life skills they will need to be successful in the future. The skill sets needed to find success in the classroom and on the track are very similar to what is needed in real life -- time management, communication skills, individual and group interaction, teamwork, self-motivation, problem-solving and work ethic.

Winning and the ability to perform are critical, but the journey is the experience most enjoyed, and that is what will be remembered in time. Integrity, passion, high expectations, priorities and values are necessary to be successful in track and field. Everyone on the team must be committed and compelled for the team to succeed. I have the desire and determination to see that student-athletes are the best they can be, in the classroom, in the community and on the track and/or field, and I have a genuine interest in the well-being of student-athletes. My desire is to shape and mold them using track and field as a tool to become successful individuals in everyday life.


Coach Bio

Coach Clayton took over the helm of the U-M men’s track and field program in 2014 and works primarily with the team’s throwers and jumpers. Since his first season in Ann Arbor, Michigan athletes have broken records in eight events and collected 10 All-American citations, helping to bring the program up from the bottom third of the conference to a runner-up finish at the 2016 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, the team's best in nearly a decade.

As one of the nation’s top field coaches, Clayton has helped guide 16 NCAA individual champions, 39 international team competitors, 24 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers and 33 Olympic and World Championship competitors.

As the head coach at Auburn for 15 seasons prior to coming to Michigan, Clayton has a history of successfully developing individualized training programs for the sprints, hurdles and field events he oversees. His teams recorded 18 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, including 10 top-five performances.

Overall, Clayton has totaled more than 23 years of head coaching experience at the Division I level. As a competitor, he qualified for the NCAA Championships twice in the shot put while competing for Illinois.

Fun Fact

Coach Clayton has been represented by at least one athlete in each Summer Olympic Games since 2000 in Sydney.

Career Highlights

  • Coached 16 individual NCAA champions
  • Has coached 27 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers
  • Coached 88 Individual NCAA All-Americans and over 100 individual conference champions

Assistant Coaches

Kevin Sullivan

Assistant Coach

A Brantford, Ontario, native, Kevin Sullivan is the most decorated runner in Michigan history, and returned to coach at his alma mater in the summer of 2014. In his short time back with U-M, Sullivan has helped coach National Champion Mason Ferlic (steeplechase) while leading the cross country program to a Big Ten Championship, and he has also coached six individual Big Ten champions on the track in the 5K, 10K and steeplechase.

Sullivan was a 16-time Big Ten champion and a 14-time NCAA All-American, capturing four NCAA titles as a Wolverine. After graduating with a degree in civil engineering, Sullivan went on to a professional career where he competed in three Olympic Games and made 22 World Championship appearances.

Once his competitive career ended, Sullivan coached at Illinois and Florida State as an assistant before returning to U-M.

Steven Rajewsky

Assistant Coach

Steven Rajewsky joined the Michigan staff in Sept. 2013 and works closely with the sprinters and hurdlers. Rajewsky is no stranger to the Big Ten, having started his Division I coaching career at Minnesota as a graduate assistant from 2004-06. At U-M, he has coached two Big Ten Champions and five all-conference honorees.

Before U-M, Rajewsky coached at Ball State for two years and at Kent State for six, where he guided a combined 21 school-record holders, more than 40 conference champions and 12 NCAA Championship qualifiers.

As a competitor, the Blue Earth, Minnesota, native was a six-time All-MIAC performer and 2004 team captain of the University of St. Thomas men’s track and field program. He helped lead his team to eight MIAC team titles and qualified for the 2003 Provisional NCAA Championships.

Dusty Lopez

Assistant Coach

A Trout Lake, Washington, native, Dusty Lopez ran at Division-III Williams (1997-2001), earning All-America status in outdoor track. From there, Lopez spent time as a graduate assistant at Syracuse, where he earned a Master’s in journalism from the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications (2004) before becoming the head coach at Webster University in St. Louis, where he coached the Division-III national champion in 2005. When he moved to Michigan in 2011, Lopez began working with the U-M men’s program, and he remains a valuable component of both the track and field and cross country coaching staffs, working with the team’s distance runners.

Stephen Saenz

Assistant Coach

Coach Saenz works closely with the men’s throwers, after a stellar collegiate career under head coach Jerry Clayton at Auburn University. As a Tiger, Saenz was a six-time All-American and NCAA qualifier and three-time SEC champion in the shot put.

The Rio Grande City, Texas, native was one of three men to compete in both the shot put and discus at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, and has competed on the international stage on several occasions for his native Mexico, including at the 2012 London Olympics.

Shean Conlon

Assistant Coach

Conlon joined the U-M staff in 2010 to work with the men’s and women’s pole vaulters. He has more than eight years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, and has seen his student-athletes set seven school records in that span. In his time at Michigan, Conlon’s athletes have produced 15 scoring performances at the Big Ten Championships, including one conference title.

His primary responsibilities include designing and implementing innovative and personalized training programs for pole vaulters, which focus on speed, strength, power and gymnastic development. As a former pole vaulter at Division-II Oberlin College, Conlon’s programs are known for having a unified theme of improving technical efficiency.