Phil Groves

Phil Groves

Head Track Coach
University of Missouri
9th season at JCCC

Men's Track
Women's Track

Phil Groves is in his ninth season as coach at Johnson County Community College but his first as head track and field coach for the Cavaliers. His first eight years as an assistant Groves primarily working with all field events and multi-event athletes.

Phil Groves is in his ninth season as coach at Johnson County Community College but his first as head track and field coach for the Cavaliers. His first eight years as an assistant Groves primarily working with all field events and multi-event athletes.

During his tenure, JCCC throwers have produced  banner years under Groves’ tutelage. JCCC throwers have rewritten the JCCC record books, won five individual national championships, four national runner-up finishes, 21 NJCAA Coaches All-America performances, seven Region VI individual champions, 36 All-Region VI citations, 21 conference individual champions and 61 All-East Jayhawk citations.

Last season Groves mentored NJCAA Coaches All-Americans Carter Grissom for men’s team and Lexi Pint for the women. Grissom also finished runner-up in the conference and region meets and PInt won a conference championship and place third in the region. Laurel Barthel was conference champion indoors in the pentathlon and outdoors in the heptathlon, and Amanda Whitney was the conference weight throw champion.

In 2016, Grissom earned NJCAA All-America and Coaches All-America honors with his third place in the javelin at the national outdoor championships. He also finished runner-up in both the East Jayhawk Conference and Region VI Championships. On the women’s side, Pint won conference, placed third at regionals and eighth at nationals in the javelin.

In 2015, Groves was instrumental in the development of javelin thrower Kendyl McDougald. In 2014, McDougald placed 13th at the NJCAA Outdoor Championships. A year later she was National Champion. She also brought national acclaim to the JCCC program when she was presented the 2015 NJCAA’s Lea Plarski Award, presented annually to an NJCAA student-athlete who exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, community service, academic excellence, athletic ability and achievements.

In 2014, Groves brought in Janee’ Kassanavoid and coached her two national runner-up finish in the indoor weight throw and an outdoor national title in the hammer. Her winning mark of 175-1 ranks as the second best effort in school history. Kassanavoid moved on and is competing for Kansas State University this season.

On the men’s side, Caniggia Raynor set a standard of excellence that may not be attained again. In 2013, Raynor shattered the school records in the indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer throw. He also was a  NJCAA All-American in both events, placing runner-up in each championship. Raynor owns all five of the top marks in the weight throw, the top four in the hammer, the JCCC Fieldhouse mark in the weight throw, and the region and conference meet records in the weight throw. He also set the outdoor school record in the discus. Now at Central Missouri, Raynor broke the Jamaican national record in the hammer early in the 2015 outdoor season, and later topped his own record throw with a personal best of 65.57m.

A year earlier, javelin thrower Hayes Grissom earned NJCAA and Coaches All-American with his runner-up finish at outdoor nationals. He also recorded a fifth place finish at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships last summer.

As a freshman in 2012, Monet Jackson set new indoor stadium and school records in the weight throw. As a sophomore, she broke her own record and set the new standards for the JCCC Fieldhouse and conference indoor championships. She also became the first female athlete in JCCC history to win a national title both indoors and outdoors.  In 2013, Madelyn Osmundson came away with a national title in the javelin.

In 2011, Groves saw javelin thrower Mary Riley set a school record, win both the conference and region titles and earn NJCAA Coaches All-America. On the men’s side, Pete Mirocke earned NJCAA Coaches All-America honors in the javelin.

In his first season with the program, Groves played a large role in the development of several throwers and multi-event specialists. Indoors, Carrissa Alexander set a school record in the weight throw as did Jade Swayne in the pentathlon and Brendon Martinez in the heptathlon. At outdoor nationals, Groves coached three athletes to Coaches All-America honors – Alexander in the javelin, Liz Smith in the shot put and Jeff Woods in the javelin.

Groves joined the Johnson County track and field program after serving as the throws coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City during the 2008-09 season.

In his one season at UMKC, Groves coached Kimoya Harriott to a first-place finish in the javelin at The Summit League Outdoor Championships. Harriott posted a mark of 144-8, which broke the Eccles Coliseum record at Southern Utah University. The last time a UMKC student-athlete won the event in the javelin was in 2002. She is also the current UMKC record holder in the event. She was also the only women’s regional qualifier for the Kangaroos.

Two months prior to his hiring at UMKC, Groves was hired as the first head coach at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, N.J. He was tabbed to create and field a new track and field program at the school. This role was to include administrative duties, recruiting for the Lions, including organizing, arranging and administering campus visits, and designing most aspects of training for the team, particularly in the areas of throws, jumps, multi-events and sprints. However, GCU did not officially compete until after Grove’s departure.

Before moving to the East Coast, Groves served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Adams State College in Alamoso, Colo., from February 2007 to March 2008. During his time at Adams, the Grizzlies claimed the NCAA Division II Women’s Indoor National Championship and student-athletes under Groves’ guidance garnered eight all-America honors. From Aug. 2006 to Jan. 2007, Groves was a graduate assistant coach at Chadron State College.

Prior to his move to Chadron State, Groves spent two and a half years at Missouri Baptist University, where he coached 10 All-Americans, including two-time national champion Shernell Nichols in the women’s shot put. Nichols claimed the 2005 NAIA outdoor title and the 2006 NAIA indoor championship in the event. As a result, Groves was named the 2006 NAIA Indoor Women’s National Assistant Coach of the Year - Throws.

As a team, Groves was instrumental in leading the Spartans to the 2006 NAIA Indoor National Championship and the 2006 NAIA Outdoor National Championship. Throughout his collegiate coaching career, Groves coached student-athletes to a total of 28 school records. Additionally, 10 individuals posted top-three national finishes under his guidance.

Groves has also been active on the high school and youth scene in his coaching career. While working with select student-athletes, he coached 15 all-state honorees, three individual state champions, 15 individual district champions and 16 individual conference champions. On the youth circuit, 13 athletes earned AAU/USATF all-America honors under his watch, and he coached one USATF Heptathlon National Champion and one AAU Discus National Champion.

Groves, who is a USATF Level I Certified Track and Field Coach, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and fitness from the University of Missouri in May 2005. He received his master’s degree in human performance and physical education with an emphasis in exercise science from Adams State in May 2009.