Michael Tornifolio Named Assistant Track and Field Coach
Tornifolio to coach pole vaulters.

Tornifolio to coach pole vaulters.

Sep 9, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. – Illinois State director of track & field and cross country Elvis Forde announced the hiring of Michael Tornifolio, as an assistant coach Monday. Tornifolio joins the staff, after spending three years at West Virginia. Torniflio brings five years of Division I coaching experience into his new position with the Redbirds, following an impressive collegiate career.

“Michael Tornifolio is coming to us with two stops along his young coaching career,” Forde said. “He is a young guy that is eager and passionate, especially in the pole vault and multi events. He has coached some young, promising athletes that have done well the past couple of years. The incoming freshmen are really going to benefit from his experience. I think he brings a lot of excitement and will work well with them, because they will feed off of his enthusiasm. We are excited about having him here, and I know he is excited to be here and get started.”

During his three-year campaign at West Virginia, Tornifolio guided athletes to All-Big 12 honors, directed two top-five finishes at the Big East Conference meet, coached an NCAA preliminary round qualifier in the pole vault in both 2012 and 2013 and was a part of the 2011 Big East Coaching Staff of the Year.



“I am honored and privileged to be a part of this great program,” Tornifolio said. “I look forward to working with Coach Forde and the entire coaching staff at Illinois State. I am excited to work with the pole vaulters and feel that we can do some great things here.  The group is very talented, and I look forward to helping them reach their potential.”

Before joining the West Virginia staff, Tornifolio worked at Southern Utah, where he instructed athletes in pole vault, high jump, long jump, triple jump and multi events. In 2009-10, he trained eight all-conference athletes in the jumping events and had 14 top-10 marks for the indoor season along with 18 top-10 marks for the outdoor season. In his last season with the Thunderbirds, Tornifolio coached athletes who captured school records in the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon.

Prior to that, Tornifolio spent four years as a student-athlete at Ohio Wesleyan, where he received a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a focus in exercise science. He was a four-year varsity student-athlete and letterman at Ohio Wesleyan, as well as a six-time all-conference selection and the 2007 conference champion in the pole vault. After graduation, Tornifolio organized the Mountain State Track Club that trained and mentored local high school students. With the organization, Tornifolio guided three athletes to the Division I level.

Tornifolio replaces Stephanie Barnes, who left in the spring.

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