Ex-Saginaw Valley State duo helps lead throw team

Kevin Shay

While assistant coach Grant Wall literally leads the ISU men’s and women’s throw teams, senior Josh Koglin helps lead the men in competition.

What makes them most similar, though, is the fact that two years ago both were at Division-II Saginaw Valley State in Michigan when Wall was extended an offer to come coach at Iowa State.

“I like it a lot here, the atmosphere is great being at a D-1 school,” Koglin said. “It’s a bigger school and a better stage to compete on, along with great facilities to use during practice.”

However, Koglin would not be attending Iowa State, in all likelihood, if it weren’t for Wall accepting an assistant coaching offer to lead the throws team.

“The thing I like the most about ISU is I have the same coach here as I did [at Saginaw Valley],” Koglin said. “And that’s the main reason why I wanted to come, I like his coaching style and the fact that I get to work with him a lot here as I did there [at Saginaw Valley State].”

Koglin earned Division II All-America honors before coming to Iowa State with both an eighth-place finish in the weight throw at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, and an eighth-place finish in the hammer throw at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Both of the high finishes were under the watch of Wall, who believes that if Koglin continues to improve he could have a chance at becoming an All-American at the Division I level by season’s end.

“I think he’s been doing great so far this year, and has had a pretty seamless transition from Saginaw D-II where he was a two-time All-American,” Wall said. “He’s on the right track for where we want to be in order to be set-up for an outdoor nationals run as long as he takes it step-by-step.”

Koglin said he is a longshot to make the indoor championships in the weight throw, but believes he has a shot at making it to the outdoor championships in the hammer throw if he takes it slow.

“I’m trying to get better at each meet,” Koglin said. “Even though I didn’t do as well as I hoped at the last meet [the ISU Open], I’m trying to just stay focused and trying to get better inch-by-inch with each throw.”

Even though Koglin didn’t do as well as he hoped last week, he still finished first in the weight throw, and he credits Wall with not only helping him but the rest of the team.

“I definitely think our team has gotten stronger since coach Wall has gotten here,” Koglin said. “He’s helped with people getting stronger when they needed to, and in the right ways. And of course he’s helped with our techniques.”

But in the end, people only get stronger when they want to get stronger, which is why Wall wanted Koglin to come to Ames with him.

“When you come over here [from Saginaw Valley St.], you’ve still got something to prove,” Wall said. “And Josh feels that way, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to bring him here. He’s a blue-collar guy who’s always got a chip on his shoulder and wants to get better and improve himself.”