SUU to Everywhere

Nathan Ott (’07)

Nathan Ott (’07)
SUU to Olympic Coach

Originally published on December 17, 2021.

While he maintains that he did not set out to coach track and field athletes, Nathan Ott has become a valued and vaunted entity in that sphere, and it is a role that began here at his alma mater with a degree in physical education.

Recently, he led one of his charges to the Tokyo Olympics as Brooke Andersen, an NAU product, finished 10th in the hammer throw.

“This job is centered on developing and recruiting student-athletes,” he says. “I’ve always loved to see the ‘lightbulb’ go on during the learning process and seeing how people can progress in something when they have a goal and diligently work toward it.

“I just have a desire to share and help others grow. I just happened to have a few people provide me with opportunities that excited me right out of college. Things just snowballed from there,” he says.

He points to Head Track and Field Coach Eric Houle (’81 & ’98) and English Professor Todd Petersen as especially inspirational and helpful in his SUU student life in preparing him for a coaching career.

Paying that motivation forward, he adds that he is excited and proud when he sees his athletes self-actualize and achieve more than they ever thought possible.

As a Thunderbird, Nathan set the school record in the hammer with a distance of 201’5”, was conference champ in 2007, and was the team’s leading scorer in 2006. As an SUU coach, he tutored 19 conference champions and one All-American. Under his tenure, the Thunderbird throwers broke 13 school records, posted 142 top-10 marks and boasted three team MVPs.

The Cedar High product has also coached at Texas State, Northern Arizona, and Kansas State. He and his wife Jessica are parents to two boys.