Paul Brueske enters his ninth season with the University of South Alabama track & field program, and his eighth season as head coach for both the men’s and women’ teams.
Under his direction, USA’s cross country and track & field squads have produced 82 all-Sun Belt Conference performers and 56 student-athletes who have participated in the NCAA East Region Preliminary Round. Since the spring of 2011, five individuals have advanced to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships on nine occasions, with both Renaldo Frechou and Lindsay Schwartz earning first or second-team All-America honors multiple times.
Since Brueske’s arrival, Jaguar student-athlete have set 27 school records while breaking a pair of league standards.
In throwing events, Jags have claimed 13 titles at Sun Belt Championships with USA student-athletes collecting all-league honors on 36 occasions.
A remnant of Brueske’s first recruiting class at the university, Schwartz was a three-time NCAA All-American, a United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I All-Academic honoree, a three-time SBC outdoor heptathlon and two-time indoor pentathlon champion, the 2011 SBC Most Outstanding Female Field Performer and the 2011-12 USA Female Student-Athlete of the Year. After posting a then-school-record 5,606 points in the heptathlon at the Texas Relays, Schwartz qualified to compete at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., where she set a new school standard with 5,614 points through seven total events for 14th overall.
Sun Belt individual champions in throwing events under Brueske include: Renaldo Frechou (hammer throw, 2014-15), Leah Hixon (javelin, 2014), Jan-Louw Kotze (discus, 2013-15), Angela McCord (javelin, 2010), Joey Torres (discus, 2010-12; hammer throw, 2011; weight throw 2011) and Bobbie Williamson (hammer throw, 2013). In all, 30 Jaguars have qualified for the NCAA regional round with four advancing to the national championships. Frechou would pick up first-team All-America accolades after finishing seventh in his first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, then coming in fifth place the following season, while Torres — a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico — set a national record in the discus with a 56.23m mark that also broke the Sun Belt record in the event.
The Jaguars have experienced academic success under Brueske’s watch as well. USA has been named a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team on six occasions, while the Jags have received the team award for the highest grade-point average in the Sun Belt including sweeping honors for both women and men during the 2014-15 academic year. A total of 16 individuals have received All-Academic recognition from the USTFCCCA, and Kotze became the first member of the men’s program to be named Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Formerly the head coach of the boys' track program at St. Paul's Episcopal High School, Brueske led the team to back-to-back Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A outdoor state championships in 2006 and 2007. The Saints were also the 2007 indoor champions. Additionally, 15 student-athletes earned individual state titles during his tenure.
Prior to his arrival at St. Paul's High, Brueske worked with the UMS-Wright Preparatory track & field program, helping the Bulldogs to three consecutive state high school championships in both the girls and boys divisions during his time there. At UMS-Wright, he worked primarily with the field events and has worked with 15 individual 4A state champions in the throws, high jump and pole vault. He assisted UMS-Wright athletes establish new school records in the pole vault, javelin and shot put. Brueske was also an assistant with the UMS-Wright varsity football team that compiled a 38-4 winning record and won the 2002 4A state championship.
Brueske spent two seasons as the field events coach at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., from 2000-02. At Ferris State, he produced 14 NCAA qualifiers, three All-Americans and 22 all-conference performers. As an assistant coach, Brueske was in charge of recruiting and coaching all field event athletes. He also helped design strength training programs for the Ferris State golf, hockey and volleyball programs.
A native of Gulf Breeze, Fla., Brueske began coaching at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, where he spent three seasons. As the Assistant Head Coach, Brueske helped build McGill-Toolen into a 6A county and sectional champion.
A 1998 graduate of South Alabama where he was a member of the track team, Brueske holds USA Track & Field Level II certification in the throwing, jumping and combined events. He is a certified specialist in Sports Conditioning by the International Sports Science Association, a USA (Olympic) weightlifting certified club coach, and a USA Track & Field Level I Instructor. He worked for five years as strength coach for the tennis program at the University of South Alabama. He is a member of the Optimist Club of Mobile and the National Throws Coaches Association. Brueske is also the USA Track & Field Coaching Education Chairman in Alabama. He has been named a Certified Throws Specialist by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He is also a USAW Certified Sports Performance Coach, and he formerly served as Coaches Education Chairman for the state of Alabama.