Dr. Joe Vigil

Dr. Joe Vigil
Dr. Joe VigilUSATF Coach
One of the secrets to Brenda Martinez success is her coach, Joe Vigil, the man famous for his legendary reign at Adams State in Colorado and for coaching Olympic bronze medalist and multiple American record holder Deena Kastor. Vigil coaches Martinez from his home base in Arizona while she trains in Big Bear. Her husband, Carlos Handler, serves as her workout facilitator and Vigil’s eyes and ears.
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Carlos Handler
Carlos HandlerBig Bear TC Coach

Carlos Handler is a middle distance coach who helps athletes make the transition from collegiate running to post collegiate life. Carlos started his coaching career in 2009 to help develop a proper foundation for youth kids from the Chino Hills Flash Team while still trying to pursue his dream of running post collegiately. Most recent he has guided 800 meter athlete Boris Berian to a 1:43.34, 5th All Time in U.S. history. Coach Handler’s first athlete was Dalanne Zanotelli. He helped her drop her time from 2:14 to 2:05 in the 800 meters, which qualified her to her first U.S. Outdoor Championships in 2014. Handler also plays a major role as Dr. Joe Vigil’s eyes for 2013 World Bronze Medalist Brenda Martinez on the practice fields. Today Carlos offers a wide range of online programs and services – from individual coaching, to seminars and keynote speeches. To contact Carlos, please contact him at chandler@bigbeartc.org

Prior to coaching Big Bear TC, Carlos competed at UC Riverside from 2001-2004. Carlos transferred to Concordia University in Irvine and finished his remaining eligibility from 2004-2006 receiving 7 All Americans Awards and leading the Mens XC program to its highest placing in school history in 05′ and 06′ as Runner Up XC National Champions. Carlos continued his post collegiate career after he graduated from Concordia University in 07′ with a BA in Psychology. Handler made the tough transition on his own from Southern California to Boulder, Colorado. While in Boulder, he moved up in distances and began running more road races. Carlos ran a personal best of 1:05.20 half marathon at the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. Handler also won the Inaugural Santa Barbara International Marathon in 2009 in 2:24.49. His personal best marathon was his first marathon ever ran at the 2008 USA Marathon Championships finishing in 2:23.44

Coach Vigil Highlights

Joe Vigil, head coach at Adams State College for nearly 30 years, is the consummate coach-scientist, one who combines systems of training, sport science and motivation towards having his athletes achieve at the highest levels.

Vigil led teams to 12 NAIA National Cross Country Championships and the 1995 NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championship, the last with a perfect score of 15 points. In cross country and track & field, Vigil’s teams won a total of 19 national championships. His overall record at Adams State stands at 94.2 percent with 3,014 wins and 176 losses.

For these accomplishments, Vigil was named National Coach of the Year on 14 different occasions. He also produced 425 All Americans and 87 individual national champions during his tenure at Adams State.

Receiving the prestigious USA Track & Field Legend Coach Award in 2015 is the accomplished Dr. Joe I. Vigil, Ph.D, who has demonstrated exemplary achievement as a leader in the sport both domestically and internationally in positions at the helm of competition, as a coaching instructor and as a goodwill ambassador.

The award ceremony will take place at USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on June 27, 2015.

Vigil, a decorated leader with a USATF Master Coach distinction, is a 14-time National Coach of the Year, who has earned inductions into 11 Halls of Fame and has received the TAC President’s Award, the Coaching Education Lifetime Achievement Award and the USOC “Doc” Counsilman Coach Award twice.

Vigil has led two U.S. Olympic Teams, including appointments at the Seoul 1988 and Beijing 2008 Games. His resume also includes leadership at four Pan American Games, two World University Games and seven IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Under his direction, athletes have realized 20 combined podium appearances at World Championships and Olympic Games in both cross country and track & field, making Vigil the only active coach to attain such success. His direction has also produced 47 individual senior champions, 17 national records, and two athletes with No.1 world rankings.

Among his esteemed pupils are 2004 Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalists Stephano Baldini, Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor respectively. He also coached Brenda Martinez in 2013 to a World Championships bronze medal in the 800 meters.

At the collegiate level, his guidance resulted in 425 All-America distinctions, 87 individual national titles and 19 total national championships from both cross country and track.

As a coaching educator, he was a founding member of The Athletic Congress (TAC) and USATF Coaching Programs in 1980, serving as chairman for nine years. He is a Level IV IAAF Lead Instructor with experience at all levels from high school associations and USATF to the U.S. Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee as a coaching clinician.

Vigil earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Adams State with post-graduate work at Louisiana State University and Toledo University. He received a masters from Colorado College, and Ph.D from the University of New Mexico.

Vigil notes the premise of his professional goals is to develop his student-athletes through “The Pursuit of Excellence” in family, life, academics and athletics.

The USATF Legend Coach Award is in its second year. The inaugural award was presented to Hall of Fame Tigerbelle Coach Ed Temple in 2014.