Jack Warner is in his seventh year at the helm of the Purdue University Track & Field and Cross Country programs, beginning his tenure with the Boilermakers in 2004, after serving as an assistant at Big Ten rival Ohio State University for 12 years.
"From his experience being a key member of the Ohio State coaching staff, Jack possesses the level of expertise that will serve Purdue well for years to come," said senior associate athletics director Roger Blalock.
"Jack Warner has had the ideal on-the-job training to be the Purdue head coach, almost since he was a youngster," added Purdue Athletics Director Morgan Burke, alluding to Warner's days as a boy, when his father was the Cornell track and field coach.
In his short time at Purdue, Warner has already proved them correct, overseeing a national champion, 16 All-Americans, 66 NCAA Championship qualifiers and 35 Big Ten Champions in track and field. His athletes have also made their marks in the Purdue record books, tying or breaking 30 school records. Most recently Warner and his staff led the 2009 Boilermaker men's cross country team to earn its first NCAA qualifier since 1987, while the women's side last earned a trip in Warner's first year, 2005.
Since his arrival in West Lafayette in 2004, the Old Gold and Black have seen a number of successes. The men's team has made its way into the upper echelon of the conference standings, including just the third second-place showing in school history at the 2008 Big Ten Indoor Championship and back-to-back fourth-place efforts at the 2008 and 2009 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, while the women boasted their first NCAA Champion since 2002, flaunted seven All-Americans and a pair of Big Ten individual champions in 2010.
"I came to Purdue because I saw a great opportunity to be a part of an athletics program that showed excellence not only on the athletic fields, but in the classroom as well," said Warner. "The improvements we've made over the past few years have been exciting, but hopefully not nearly as exciting as the accomplishments that lie ahead."
Warner has also assisted Team U.S.A. on four recent occasions, tutoring the sprinters and hurdlers at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Findland, serving as a member of the coaching staff at the 2008 North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) in Toluca, Mexico, the 2009 World Championships in Germany, and the 2010 NACAC Under-23 squad in Miramar, Fla. In Mexico, Warner coached the men and women's pole vaulters and high jumpers, winning championships in both realms. He served primarily in the logistical areas in Germany in 2009 and Florida in 2010, coaching in a variety of areas as needed.
Warner's involvement in the sport began as a boy, following his father among the Cornell track and field ranks. "Thanks to my dad, I learned how to work a stopwatch at the age of five," he said. "I've been around track and field for my entire life; it's in my blood."
Warner's father, Jack Warner, Sr., coached the Big Red from 1967 to 1990, and was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
Warner attended college at Middle Tennessee State University, where he competed for the Blue Raiders in the pole vault from 1975 to 1977, and captured the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in 1976. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1977, Warner returned to Cornell, where he served as an assistant track and field coach from 1978 to 1981.
From there Warner coached at the United States Military Academy at West Point for eight years before moving on to Ohio State. While with the Cadets, Warner tutored 21 All-Americans, including Diana Wills-Orange, the second-highest-ranked triple jumper in the U.S. in 1989, and a 1996 Olympic Team participant. Focusing on the jumps area, his athletes established numerous academy records in the high, long and triple jumps, not to mention six Patriot League titles, including dominating performances in his final two seasons with the team. In his final year with the Cadets, they were honored with the Patriot League Coaching Staff of the Year award.
He moved to the Ohio State coaching ranks in 1993, and would serve the Buckeyes in a number of ways for the next 12 years. Warner was heavily involved with all aspects of the program in Columbus, coaching every event, directing track meets and camps, working with the alumni and organizing recruiting efforts. He also addressed a need for improved academics, developing an academic assistance program to help student-athletes that were struggling in the classroom.
In almost every year at Ohio State, Warner produced at least one NCAA All-American. The Buckeyes took home national recognition in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and the 3,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs in his tenure, along with several Big Ten Championships in those areas as well. In 2003-04, his last year in Columbus, he mentored seven athletes to All-American status at the national championships, and guided the men's team to a fourth-place showing, their highest since 1993.
During his time at Ohio State he also was a member of the executive board for the "Majority of One" program, which assists minority student-athletes in Columbus.
Warner and his wife over more than 30 years, Carol, have three children, John, Joe and Kelly. John is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, while Joe and Kelly live in the West Lafayette area. Joe and his wife, Faith, have Warner's first grandchild, David.