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Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Chief of Performance

News out of Indy this morning: USATF has named 1984 Olympic 100-meter hurdles champ Benita Fitzgerald Mosley as its new Chief of Sport Performance.

Fitzgerald Mosley...helped put together a blisteringly critical report of the U.S. track and field team's performance after the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing as a member of an independent panel that included famed sprinter Carl Lewis.

Among more than a dozen recommendations in the report, which blamed the U.S. team's debacle-filled Olympic performance on disorganized coaching and a lack of professionalism by athletes, was the appointment of a general manager of sports performance to take charge of an area the report deemed to be in "chaos."

Fitzgerald Mosley was considered an ideal choice for the post because, despite her close connection to track and field, she had remained apart from USATF politics and policies since she retired as an athlete in 1988, giving her a desirable distance and independence, according to one of the sources. She also was considered among the most clear-thinking, incisive and diplomatic members of the nine-person panel that authored the report, the source said.

Garry Hill on her selection:
By all accounts BFM has been delightfully competent everywhere she has served. And the sport serves itself well by being on the cutting edge of minority hiring.

I just wish it hadn't been such a predictable choice. Meaning her heavy USOC connection. The Colorado Springs gang's presence is now certainly very heavy in Indy.

What connection?
Fitzgerald Mosley was president of the Women's Sports Foundation Board of Trustees in 1997-98, and remains a member of the board. She also has overseen the direction of the U.S. Olympic Committee's training centers, considered a valuable trait as the USATF seeks to improve its training opportunities for athletes.

More to come.

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