Nkosinza Balumbu, a five-time SEC triple jump champion as a collegian at Arkansas, has joined the Golden Bear staff as a fulltime coach after serving as a volunteer coach this past season.
"I'm so pleased to announce the promotion of Nkosinza Balumbu from volunteer coach to fulltime status,” director of track & field Tony Sandoval said. “Nkosinza filled in admirably for Ed Miller when Ed's ankle forced him into a leave of absence this spring. I see him as a rising star in the coaching profession. He has a great technical eye and an understanding of training from his time at Arkansas."
Balumbu, who will work with Cal’s jumpers as well as play a key role in recruiting, hails from Union City, Calif., and graduated from James Logan High School. A USATF level 2 certified coach, he initially helped out with the Bears’ sprinters and hurdlers in 2013, but finished the later part of the year with an extended role with the jumps program.
"I'm extremely excited to be on board as a full time assistant coach at Cal,” Balumbu said. “It's important to me as a Bay Area native to take full advantage of this opportunity and help contribute to Cal's success in track & field. I truly believe that our institution lies in one of the premier places in the country, and that we as a staff can really launch this program into a powerhouse.”
Under Balumbu’s supervision, the Bears jumpers excelled this past year. Hammed Suleman won his first Pac-12 title in the long jump, placed second in the triple jump and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the long jump. High Jumpers Noel Frazier and Nick Ridge fared well by respectively finishing sixth and eight at the Pac-12 Championships.
On the women’s side, two Bears reached the NCAA meet. Malaina Payton placed third at the Pac-12 Championships in the long jump, 10th overall at NCAA’s and ninth at the USA Championships. In addition, triple jumper Amanda Hunter equally had a third-place finish at Pac-12’s. She followed that performance by taking 12th at NCAA’s and 11th at the USA meet.
During Balumbu’s time as a student-athlete at Arkansas, he won five SEC title in the triple jump and was a seven-time All-American. He captured the 2008 NCAA triple jump title and was the last individual national champion for legendary coach John McDonnell. Balumbu earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Arkansas in 2009.