Jennifer Svoboda
Jennifer  Svoboda

Assistant Coach

Alma Mater:
Kentucky, 2012

Jennifer Svoboda is entering her third season as an assistant coach with the program. She has a diverse role on the Southern Miss staff, she mentors the Golden Eagle throwers, aids in travel plans, organizes team volunteer opportunities and serves as a recruiting coordinator for the program.

Svoboda's well rounded nature guided the 2016 Throws Squad to a stand out season, establishing a name for themselves on the national scene. Grenadian Junior, Emron Gibbs, became a force to be reckoned with and helped put Southern Miss track and field back on the national map. Gibbs set a new school record of 75.73m (248 ft) at the LSU Alumni Gold Meet in late April, the throw even eclipsed the Grenadian National Record. He followed the stellar performance up by earning a silver medal at the Conference USA championship in one of the toughest javelin conferences in the nation. He extended his success in the post season as well, notching himself a fourth place finish at the NCAA National championship in Oregon. This is the first time since 2003 that a male Southern Miss track and field athlete has earned First-Team All-American honors.

Gibbs wasn't the only USM javelin thrower breaking onto the scene. USM Freshman Thomas Peters etched his way past the 70 meter barrier and recorded a personal best of 70.44m (231 ft) at the Florida State Relays. Peters earned critical points for his team at the Conference USA championship by taking the fifth place position. Peters qualified for the NCAA East regional meet and battled his way into the 18th position, falling just shy of punching his ticket to Eugene. Peters didn't let the setback keep him down for long. Thomas took the second place finish at the US Junior championships, which qualified him for the Under 20 World Junior Championships, which was held in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The USM women's throwers also had a great season. Danisha Jones set a new USM school record in the weight throw at the Indoor Conference USA Championships. She heaved the ball and chain 18.10m (59'4) earning herself a silver medal. Once the outdoor season emerged senior Kayla Taylor punched her ticket to the NCAA East Regional meet in the discus. Taylor also earned critical points in the women's shot put during the outdoor conference meet by locking down the 5th place finish.

In 2015, Svoboda's first season with the Golden Eagles, she coached senior Rachel Polk to a NCAA East Regional meet appearance in both the shot put and discus. Polk also broke the school record and went on to win the shot put at the 2015 Conference USA Outdoor Championships with a throw of 15.74m (51'8). Polk finished in sixth place in the discus at the conference meet and recorded a season's best throw of 51.74m (169'9). Under Svoboda's tutelage, Kayla Taylor became a dominant force for the Golden Eagles inside the throwing circle. Taylor qualified for the NCAA East Regional meet in the discus. At the 2015 Conference USA Outdoor Championships, Taylor took home the bronze medal in the discus with a personal best toss of 51.75m (169'10) and she also placed sixth in the shot put. Senior Ethan Rich had a season best throw of 64.80m (212'7") to finish the 2015 Conference USA Outdoor Championship with a sixth place finish and was able to punch his ticket to the NCAA East Regional meet in the javelin.

Prior to coming to Southern Miss, Svoboda served as the assistant track and field coach for Transylvania University. While at Transylvania, Svoboda was in charge of implementing weight training programs, travel, and played a part in the team's recruiting. While working at Transylvania, she was also a graduate assistant for the University of Kentucky.

Svoboda was a four time regional qualifier at the University of Kentucky from 2007-2012. While at Kentucky, Svoboda competed in the shot put, discus, and javelin. She never missed an SEC final in any of her perspective events and was a bronze medalist in the shot put at the 2010 Outdoor SEC Championships. She recorded a personal best of 51'11 in the shot put and 162 in the discus. She also excelled in the classroom during her stint at Kentucky, achieving SEC Honor Roll status from 2007-2012.

A native Nebraskan, Svoboda is a graduate of Howells Public High School (2003-2007), where she was a six-time state champion and the Nebraska state-record holder in the shot put. She was also an all-state basketball player, accumulating over 1,000 points in her career. In 2012, she earned her bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in health promotion. Svoboda received her master's degree in Sports Administration from the University of Kentucky in 2014.

She is the daughter of Roger and Cindy Svoboda. She has one sister, Kristina.

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