Club Founder and Director
Jumps, Combined Events, Pole Vault, Javelin, Hammer Throw
Coach Eli founded the Jacksonville Athletic Club in 2013, and he works with athletes in all disciplines, focusing in on the pole vault, javelin, combined events and jumps. In just 6 years at the helm of the JAC, he has helped the club do some great things. Since 2013, JAC athletes have been able to break over 100 school records at 24 different Jacksonville schools, they have qualified over 80 athletes to the state meet, winning 90 medals, including 13 state champions (6 in 2015!). In 2017 Coach Eli was able to coach 10 state-runner ups, which we think might be a state record....On the national scene the JAC has had eight USATF Junior National Qualifiers, multiple All-Americans, National Champions, and a National Championship meet record holder! In 2018 Coach Eli became the only coach in Florida high school history to have coached 2 girls to jump over 20' in the long jump and 40' in the triple jump (Nicole Green in 2015 and Caroline Johnston in 2018).
Athletes of all levels have improved under Coach Eli's watch. Some JAC athletes had some fast improvements, such as the following: Cory Dyer (Oakleaf) improved his high jump from 5'8" to 6'8" in 6 months, Zoe Harper (Ponte Vedra) improved her pole vault from 8'6" to 12' in less than a year, Nathan Jeffers (Bolles) improved his decathlon score over 800 points in less than a year, Sean O'Linn (Ponte Vedra) improved his 800m time from 2:00.21 to 1:57.84 in one week (it's a great story!) and Lauren Boswell (Bolles) went from never throwing a javelin to placing 4th at nationals over the course of a summer (130'3")!
Other outstanding performances include 5 time state champion and state record holder Nicole Greene (Ponte Vedra) in the high jump (6'1 1/2") long jump (20'5") and triple jump (40'2"), 2 time state champion Brittany Bowald (Atlantic Coast) in the long jump (18'6") and triple jump (39' 9 1/2"), Frances Rice (Bolles) in the pole vault (12'6"), David Bell (Bishop Kenny) in the pole vault (16'5"), David Goreschak (Bolles) in the pole vault (15'), Ashton Butler (Bolles) in the long jump (23'5") and triple jump (49'8"), heptathlete Emily Myslinski (Bishop Kenny) (37'8" shot put, 14.52 in the 100mH, and 4429 heptathlon, state champion R'Lazon Brumfield (Bishop Kenny) in the triple jump (47'8") and Tre Preston (St. Joseph's Academy) in the long jump (23'9").
Currently, Coach Eli has a few national class athletes that he coaches, such as junior pole vaulter Laine Roberts (Bolles) who has a PR of 12'10 3/4", senior heptathlete Caroline Johnston (Episcopal) who has a long jump PR of 20'3", triple jump PR of 40'7 3/4", and a heptathlon score of 4681, high jumper Madison Murray (Providence) with a PR of 5'8" and pole vault PR of 11'1", Patrick Coyle (Bishop Kenny) a pole vaulter with a PR of 15'1", Sandalwood hurdler Desmyn McCall (14.13 PR for 110H) and Bryson Kirksey (Bolles) who has a high jump PR of 6'10 1/2".
Before starting the Jacksonville Athletic Club, Coach Eli spent the previous 6 years coaching at the NCAA Division 1 level, first at UNC-Charlotte, then at East Tennessee State University. Over those six years he was able to coach 78 all conference performers, 28 conference champions, and 8 NCAA qualifiers. He was also fortunate enough to coach at least one conference champions in each of the jumps, pole vault, combined events and javelin throw. In 2012 one of his freshman decathletes (K'vonte "Cornbread" Scott) had over a 900 point personal best in one year (6042 to 6976) and went on to finish 5th at the USATF Jr. National Championships. While coaching at Charlotte and ETSU Coach Eli was able to help the teams win a combined total of 11 team conference titles.
In 2006 and 2007 Coach Eli was the personal coach to Allen Simms, a post-collegiate horizontal jumper. That year Simms triple jumped 17.10m (56'1”) to set the Puerto Rican national record, which still stands today. Simms was also able to jump 8.03m (26'4”) in the long jump that year. During the 2007 summer Coach Eli traveled with Simms to Greece, Norway and Great Britain as he competed in the European circuit.
In June of 2015 Coach Eli was fortunate enough to join JAC jumper Nicole Greene on a trip to Cuba to participate in the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational. This was the first time an American sports team had competed in Cuba in over 15 years, so it was a great opportunity for all! Nicole went on to win the high jump (6'0") in Havana, and then a few weeks later she jumped a PR and state record jump of 6'1 1/2"!
Athletically, Coach Eli walked on to Wake Forest University as a long and triple jumper, and a year later transferred to UNC-Charlotte, to be coached by the legendary track and field coach, Robert Olesen. In his first year working with Coach Olesen, Eli was able to PR in the triple jump by over 5 feet. 4 years later he graduated from Charlotte as a 4 time conference medalist, as well as a 3 time NCAA qualifier in the triple jump. He continued to train post collegiately with the Charlotte based Olesen Express Athletic Club, where he was able set his lifetime best of 50'5” in the triple jump. It was this experience that he had at UNC-Charlotte that led him into coaching.
Coach Eli received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from UNC-Charlotte, is USATF Level 2 certified in the jumps and combined events and is also USATF Level 3 and IAAF Level 5 Master Coach "with distinction"certified. Both the USATF Level 3 and IAAF Level 5 certifications are the highest track and field coaching certifications available. He also is a USATF certified official for all track and field events, as well as being a USATF Certified Combined Events Coordinator and Referee. Coach Eli also currently serves on the Keiser University Sports Medicine Advisory Board, and has written multiple articles about different events, including the triple jump, combined events, high jump and pole vault.