Born: July 8, 1965

Influenced by his dad, who was a teacher, coach and athletic director, Kip Janvrin’s quest to positively impact the lives of young athletes as a coach hit a roadblock in his early 20s.

You see, as a decathlete, he also had eyes on the Olympics. So you can imagine how the real world was grabbing at his running shoes in the late 1980s.

Fortunately, Janvrin found an athletic director, coach and university willing to allow him to chase both dreams, and he ultimately rose to prominence at the University of Central Missouri as the Co-Head Coach of the Track & Field Program – and qualified for the 2000 Olympics.

It’s quite a story, the next chapter being induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame with the Class of 2019.

The 2018-2019 academic year marked Janrvin’s 30th at UCM, and he has tag-teamed the track and field program with Kirk Pedersen since 1994.

The pinnacle for the duo came in 2015 as they guided the Central Missouri women to NCAA Division II Indoor and Outdoor championships.

Overall, they have led UCM to a combined 25 NCAA Top 10 finishes on the men’s side and 13 on the women’s side. In the past seven years, the Jennies have finished in the NCAA Top 10 in nine of 14 national meets, and the Mules in six.

UCM also has won 35 MIAA championships under their watch. That covers 27 men’s conference titles (15 indoor, 12 outdoor) and eight women’s titles (five indoor, three outdoor).

In 2002 and 2015, Janvrin and Pedersen were named the National Indoor Coaches of the Year by the USTFCCCA, or United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, and the 2015 Outdoor National Coaches of the Year.

“Had I gone anywhere else, it could have been a completely different story,” Janvrin said. “It’s a unique relationship. Jerry Hughes (athletic director & MSHOF Legend 2016) has always been great. He understood that when I was going to run a good program and take off to chase my dream. That was very gratifying. And Kirk has always had my back.”

A native of Panora, Iowa, Janvrin ran track for Simpson College (Iowa), and was recommended for the UCM job by Pedersen, a Simpson alum. Coaching college athletes was his calling.

“As I got better as an athlete, I felt I wanted to work with kids who were dedicated to track,” said Janvrin, who made ends meet as a graduate assistant and member of the USA Decathlon team.

When Les Stevens retired, UCM promoted Janvrin and Pedersen, and it’s been some show. Most impressive has been their ability to maintain a highly competitive program as D-II and the MIAA.

“We got lucky with a couple of international kids early, and success breeds success. A lot of local kids wanted to be a part of that,” said Janvrin, who coaches UCM’s sprinters, hurdlers and multi-event athletes.

“When I was younger – and my wife can attest to this – I was pretty cocky,” Janvrin volunteered, noting his former college coach, Guy Moser, was influential. “But I didn’t know a lot (as a coach). A lot my success was by trial and error.”

One learning experience came in the early 2000s when UCM appeared favorites to in the MIAA, only to struggle at the meet.

“That made you realize you have to put the work in when it matters,” Janvrin said.

Meanwhile, Janvrin has been a terrific ambassador for UCM as a decathlete. The decathlon is a two-day event involving 10 events – a 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500-meter run.

Janvrin won the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival, the 1995 Pan Am Games, the 2001 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and a record 15 decathlons at the prestigious Drake Relays, which has since inducted Janvrin into its Hall of Fame.

At age 36, he qualified for the 2000 Olympics, despite scoring 300 points less than his showing four years earlier.

“It was going to be my swan song in track,” Janvrin said, noting that favorite Dan O’Brien didn’t compete and helped his cause. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

Overall, Janvrin credits many for his success, especially wife Teresa and children Jaxon and Mason.

“I’m never going to quit training the kids and making them better,” Janvrin said. “Plus, a lot of our former athletes and grad assistants have gone on to be head coaches. I’m glad to give back to the sport.”