SPIRE Institute and Academy (IA) is pleased to announce that Kibwé Johnson, the former Olympic track and field athlete with five US championships and three runner-up finishes, has been chosen to fill the vacancy left by now-retired Charlie Powell, former Director of Track and Field and Head Coach.
Kibwé Johnson has been SPIRE’s Throws Coach since February of this year, and his experience in both the coaching and competitive landscapes make him the perfect choice for his new position. “I would like to thank Ted Meekma, Rich Odell, Jeff Orloff, and Jonathan Ehrenfeld for entrusting this great honor to me and supporting my vision for what this sport and what our facility at SPIRE can bring to the greater community of track and field. My entire career in this sport has been filled with many great mentors, and I believe their leadership has prepared me well for this next phase of my life after professional track and field.”
Kibwé acknowledges that he has some big shoes to fill after Charlie Powell, but says that he will continue leading SPIRE’s track and field team with knowledge learned from the former Director of Track and Field. He explains, “I intend to attack my goals and vision with SPIRE the same as I went after my career as an Olympian and Team USA National Team member for many years. Taking over for a titan of the sport like Charlie Powell won’t be an easy endeavor and not something that I take lightly. As we continue to build our team, I will continue to draw on what I’ve learned from Charlie to see that our combined vision comes to fruition.”
Working closely with Kibwe to build the SPIRE T&F program is coaching standout Tim Mack. Tim (the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in the pole vault) is the Training/Development Director and Head Jumps Coach at SPIRE T&F.
Charlie Powell will continue his association with SPIRE as its newest Director Emeritus, a role that will allow him to continue to provide valuable and strategic guidance to the track and field team moving forward.