Petros Kyprianou enters his sixth season as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Georgia after coaching for three years at Boise State University. Kyprianou, a native of Limassol, Cyprus/Greece, coaches pole vault, jumps, decathlon and heptathlon.
Kyprianou has made a tremendous impact on the Bulldog program during his five years in Athens. The 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons were busy for Kyprianou as he had three Southeastern Conference champions and six NCAA First Team All-Americans while also leading his decathletes to a prestigious national honor. The Bulldogs decathlon corps finished second overall in the annual race for the Bill Webb Cup (nation's top decathlon program), which Georgia won in 2011 in the two-, three- and four-man categories. A month before the 2013 indoor season began, Kyprianou also presented at the 2012 USTFCCCA Convention on "Mechanical Advantages in the Weight Room".
Six individuals who Kyprianou coached in 2013 experienced tremendous success: 1) True freshman Maicel Uibo set a school record with 8,223 points in the decathlon (a 675-point improvement) and personal bests in the 100-meter dash (10.99), long jump (7.82m), shot put (13.68m), high jump (2.13m), 400m (50.60), 110mH (14.61), discus (49.12m), pole vault (5.10m), javelin (60.85m) and 1500m (4:28). Uibo represented his native Estonia at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow after winning the SEC decathlon crown and earning First Team All-American honors indoors and outdoors (fourth indoors with Estonian U-23 national record heptathlon score of 5,975 and fifth outdoors with 8,017). He was named April European Athlete of the Month and the SEC Freshman of the Year.
2) Garrett Scantling won the SEC heptathlon title (5,889) and earned the NCAA bronze medal with a school record 6,017 points (a 600-point improvement) and personal bests in the 60m (6.95), long jump (7.15m), shot put (14.58m), high jump (2.11m), 60mH (8.10m), pole vault (5.10m) and 1000m (2:47). Scantling was an All-American in the decathlon with a 400-point personal best at 7,876 at the NCAA meet and career bests in the 100m (10.85), long jump (7.07m), shot put (14.66m), 400m (49.22), 110mH (14.61), pole vault (4.85m), javelin (65.30m) and 1500m (4:50).
3) Devon Williams represented Team USA at the Pan American Junior Championships after earning a silver medal at the USA National Junior Championships with a personal best of 7,268 points in the decathlon as a true freshman. He scored at both the indoor (fourth place with 5,494) and outdoor SEC Championships and had more than a 1,000-point improvement from his high school personal best thanks to these marks: 100m (10.80), long jump (7.34m), shot put (12.20m), high jump (1.89m), 400m (48.64), 110mH (13.98), discus (40.65m), pole vault (4.45m), javelin (49.96m) and 1500m (4:42).
4) Lucie Ondraschkova was an NCAA First Team All-American indoors and outdoors with a fourth-place finish and a 250-point improvement in the pentathlon (4,224) and seventh outdoors with a 400-point personal best in the heptathlon and 5,856. Ondraschkova was the SEC indoor runner-up in the pentathlon and third in the heptathlon outdoors. She also scored in the indoor triple jump at the SEC meet with a 2-foot personal best at 12.63m.
5) Leontia Kallenou competed only outdoors after redshirting the indoor season. Kallenou set an 8cm personal best and took fourth at the NCAA Championships, jumping 1.86m as a true freshman. She represented her native Cyprus at both the European Junior Championships and Mediterranean Games where she took fourth with a personal best of 1.87m.
6) Morgann Leleux set a personal best with a 4.50m vault and attempted the NCAA record indoors (4.56m). Leleux suffered a detached retina and took a long break after surgery following the second indoor meet of the year. She returned to win her second consecutive outdoor SEC title in the pole vault.
In addition, Kyprianou guided Ryan Grinnel, an athlete of his while coaching at Boise State, to a third-place finish at the USATF Championships. Grinnel earned a spot on Team USA after jumping 17.02m. A week later, he set a new personal best of 17.22m at a USATF sanctioned meet at he University of Chicago. Grinnel lives in Athens and is still coached by Kyprianou.
The 2012 campaign saw five of his student-athletes advance to the NCAA Championships and bring four All-America certificates home. Leleux captured a pair of those honors after finishing second in the pole vault at both the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets while also winning the SEC outdoor title over the collegiate record holder in the event with a school record mark (14 ft., 6 ¾ in.). For her success, Leleux was named the SEC Women's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year and the USTFCCCA South Region Women's Athlete of the Year following the season.
Leleux's teammate, triple jumper Colleen Felix, also grabbed her second consecutive SEC indoor title in the triple jump during her final year with the Lady Bulldogs.
In 2011, Kyprianou guided eight Georgia team members to the Nationals as the Lady Bulldogs swept the triple jump at the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He had four All-Americans during the 2011 seasons. Six of Kyprianou's student-athletes qualified for the 2010 NCAA Championships. His crew has accounted for 62 new or improved spots in the indoor and outdoor school record books and has recorded eight SEC titles and five school records. Kyprianou led his group to score a combined 46 points at the 2011 and then again at the 2012 SEC Outdoor Championships.
Internationally, Kyprianou had Tommy Barrineau compete at the 2011 European Cup and World University Games in the multi-events and he led Shakeema Welsch to an indoor USATF triple jump title. In fact, Kyprianou had four different athletes qualify for four different 2010 national teams.
Kyprianou has also developed Georgia into a "decathlon/heptathlon powerhouse" of sorts in his short tenure. Cory Holman exploded for a school record score of 5,873 points in the heptathlon to take sixth and earn an All-America certificate at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships. A year earlier, All-American Michael Ayers scored 7,903 points to finish sixth in the decathlon at the 2011 NCAA Championships as Georgia joined Texas as the only schools having two decathletes at the national meet.
In the pole vault, Caleb Ebbets took off for a personal-best mark of 17 feet, 5 ½ inches in 2012 to complement Leleux's immense success in the event.
A variety of athletes whom Kyprianou trained showed significant improvements and posted a series of personal-best marks in 2012. Scantling tallied the fifth-best effort in school history in the decathlon (7,434) and four Bulldog pole vaulters from the 2012 indoor season each have a spot on the current all-time top-10 list. Scantling continued his success after his first outdoor collegiate season by qualifying for the 2012 World Junior Championships after taking a silver medal at the USA Junior Championships in Indiana.
Following the 2012 season, former Lady Bulldog Kat Majester finished fifth in the pole vault at the 2012 Olympic Trials, narrowly missing a berth to the Olympic Games in London. Kyprianou has steered Majester, who is still new to the sport, to a current personal-best height of 14-5.25.
In 2010, Barrineau shattered his own school record in the heptathlon twice to capture an SEC title in the event - a first for the Bulldog men in the history of the program. Also two years ago, Holman, competing in the multi-events for the first time, set an SEC Championships record in the high jump (7 feet, 1 ¾ inches) and finished third at the league meet.
Other individual highlights under Kyprianou's watch included Ondraschkova advancing to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman before having a personal-best score of 3,995 points in the pentathlon to take second at the 2011 SEC Indoors; Majester shooting from 12-8 to 13-11.25 in the pole vault and advancing to both NCAA meets; John Smith soaring to a one-foot PR of 17-1 and earning runner-up honors at 2010 SEC Outdoor Championships; and Aaron LaGarde reaching new heights in both the long jump (25-5.25) and the triple jump (52-7.50), and also qualifying for the 2010 USA Championships.
On the professional circuit, Kyprianou serves as the strength coach for high jumper and former Lady Bulldog Levern Spencer, who has a PR of 6-6, and Welsch, who is a four-time USA women's triple jump champion with a best of 46-11.
Kyprianou also served as a guest speaker at the High Performance Congress in Cyprus, Greece, in December 2009. He was also a jumps clinician at the Florida High School Coaches Association. Kyprianou's latest article printed in the magazine `Techniques' was featured in two different languages and highlighted some of Kyprianou's methods of developing athletes. He has written numerous technical articles for several track and field publications including the USTFCCCA magazine "Techniques" and the Estonian site "Decathlon2000."
In his inaugural season with the Bulldogs, Kyprianou helped Barrineau break his own school record in the heptathlon. Kyprianou also saw two of his heptathletes score at the SEC Championships before having a pair tally points for the Bulldogs at the outdoor conference meet.
A pair of pole vaulters also experienced immense success under Kyprianou's guidance in 2009. Adam Sarafian advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, clearing 17-2.75, and took fourth at the NCAA East Regional.
In her final year of competition, Julianne Toto exploded for an enormous personal-best mark of 13-5.25 to advance to the East Regional.
Kyprianou, the 2008 USTFCCCA Indoor West Regional Assistant Coach of the Year, had a significant impact on the Boise State program before arriving in Athens, guiding numerous men and women to Western Athletic Conference Championships and NCAA Championship All-American honors.
During his three-year stint at Boise State, Kyprianou guided Bronco student-athletes to 21 individual WAC Championships, four All-American honors, 10 school records and two WAC records. He also helped the men's team to indoor (2006, 2007) and outdoor (2006, 2008) WAC league titles.
The rest of his 21 WAC champions and NCAA qualifiers came from Eleni Kafourou in the long jump and triple jump. Kyprianou helped Kafourou improve in both events and break her personal bests in both jumps while winning eight WAC championships and being the runner-up at the NCAA West Regionals. Kafourou also was named the WAC freshman of the year during the indoor and outdoor conference meet in 2006. In 2008, Kafourou was awarded the WAC Outstanding Field Performer in both the indoor and outdoor championships.
Prior to arriving on the Boise State campus, Kyprianou spent the previous two seasons as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Nebraska, Omaha and was in charge of the field events. While at UNO, he guided two student-athletes to five All-American performances at the NCAA Division II National Championships.
While competing in track and field, Kyprianou won several Cyprus and Greek Championships from 1991 to 1999. They included the decathlon, pole vault, 110 hurdles and long jump.
He has won several awards during his career which include being named the 2008 Indoor West Region coach of the Year, the Most Improved Coach Award from Cyprus in 2002, the Cyprus Athlete of the Year Award in 1999, an award from the Cyprus Soccer Association for the "Best Fitness Team" in 2003 and the Track and Field Coaching Specialty Academic Award from Greece in 2001.
Kyprianou has also made his mark in the weightlifting world. He set the Idaho record for Olympic weightlifting after lifting 567 lbs. at the 85kg class in October 2007.
Kyprianou received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in June of 2001 from Aristotle University in Greece. He completed his Master of Science degree in Exercise Science/Biomechanics from the University of Nebraska in 2006. Kyprianou is a certified level III coach in the jumps, a level I and II USA Track and Field certified coach in the combined events, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a certified USA weightlifting sports performance coach.
Kyprianou and his wife Masa welcomed their first child, Alexander, in 2008 and their second, Stefan, in 2009.