Former Virginia Tech All-American Bob Phillips is in his 32nd year as coach of the Hokie pole vaulters. During that time, the vault program at Virginia Tech has risen to national prominence and to the top of the ACC. In the 11 years of ACC membership, 18 different Virginia Tech vaulters have qualified to the NCAA national championships a total of 47 times where they have earned All-America honors 34 times including three silver and two bronze medals. In that same time period, Tech vaulters have claimed 55 ACC conference medals including 28 ACC conference vault titles, more than all other schools in the ACC combined. In all, Phillips has coached 40 vaulters (28 men, 12 women) to conference championships, one junior national champion, six NCAA medalists (top 3), two US Olympic Trials qualifiers, and one qualifier to the IAAF World Championships.
While competing at Tech, Phillips set the school record in the indoor and outdoor vault. He was a four-time NCAA national qualifier and was named an All-American in 1980. Phillips was also a member of the U.S. National Team that took on Great Britain in 1984 and competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in July of that year. He was inducted into the Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. Phillips has coached vaulters to 40 conference championship titles and was also a three-time Metro Conference, four-time indoor Virginia collegiate and four-time outdoor Virginia collegiate champion.
Phillips is a native of Baltimore, Md., and holds three degrees from Tech. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education, a master’s in accountancy with a concentration in accounting information systems and a Ph.D., in business administration with a major in accounting and minors in information systems and finance.
2015: The Virginia Tech vaulters finished another dominant season in the ACC. At the men's indoor ACC championships five different VT vaulters scored. The 1-3-4-6-8 finish was led by Chris Uhle who won the event with a conference meet record of 18-1.25. The bronze metal was earned by sophomore Jared Alison with Brad Johnson, James Steck, and Jeffrey Linta also scoring. Uhle would go on to qualify for the NCAA national championships. At the outdoor ACC championships, with Uhle out due to injury, sophomore Brad Johnson stepped up to earn the gold. Jared Allison once again earned a bronze medal while teammate Jeffrey Linta earned the 4th spot. Brad Johnson would go on to set a personal best at the NCAA regional championships to earn a spot at the NCAA national championship finals.
2014: The Hokie vaulters turned in another stellar year recording over twenty lifetime personal bests, winning both the men's and women's indoor and outdoor ACC conference vault titles and earning four All-America honors. Freshman Torben Laidig would improve from 17'1" to 17'10.5" to win the indoor ACC conference title and go on to place 6th at the NCAA indoor championships. He would finish second at the outdoor ACC championship behind teammate Stephan Munz. Laidig was named men's ACC freshman of the year. Munz raised his personal best to 17'10.5" which he jumped to win the outdoor ACC title. Chris Uhle would finish second at the ACC indoor meet with a new personal best of 17'7" and redshirt freshman Jared Allison and Brad Johnson would both see their first 17' jumps. On the women's side, junior Martina Schultze would win both the indoor and outdoor ACC conference championships and earn first team All-American honors at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA championships.
2013: The Hokie vault crew enjoyed an excellent year with conference titles from Martina Schultze (indoor and outdoor) and Stephan Munz (indoor). At the outdoor conference meet, sophomore Chris Uhle would take home the silver medal. He would go on to qualify to the NCAA finals in Eugene, Oregon with a new personal best of 17'3" and would earn 2nd Team All-American honors competing there. Martina recorded a new personal best of 14'7" in winning the indoor ACC championship and would go on to finish 3rd at the NCAA championships and earn 1st team All-America honors. She would repeat as conference champion outdoors, raise the outdoor school record to 14'9", and earn another first team All-America honor at the outdoor NCAA championships.
2012: The Hokies earned five spots at the NCAA championships with Victoria von Eynatten and Martina Schultze earning All-America honors at the indoor championships and Joe Davis, Hunter Hall and Schultze claiming All-America honors at the outdoor championships. The Hokie women swept the indoor medal spots at the ACC championships with von Eynatten first (14'1"), Schultze second (14'1"), and Kristen Brown third (13'6"). Schultze and von Eynatten would switch gold and silver medal positions at the outdoor ACC championhips. The Hokie men responded by sweeping the podium at the ACC Outdoor Championship, with Hall taking the top spot (17' 8.5"), Davis finishing second (17' 4.5") and Mike Miller in third (17' 4.5"). All three earned All-ACC honors while Hall and Davis went on claim All-America status at the NCAA Championships.
2011: In 2011, Phillips was named the USTFCCCA Men’s Southeast Region Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year. For the year, six Hokie vaulters qualified for the NCAA championships with four earning a total of five All-America honors. Yavgeniy Olhovsky tied former Hokie throwing great Spyridon Jullien by earning his seventh All-America accolade and Hunter Hall was an All-American both indoors and outdoors. At the ACC Indoor Championships, Hokie men accounted for 25 points and took four out of the top five places with Stephan Munz taking home the title and Hunter Hall placing third. Since joining the ACC, Tech men have won seven of the ten indoor pole vault conference titles. Phillips’ daughter, Kelly, won the ACC Indoor title and set the indoor school-record at 14’1.25” (4.30m) and was named a first-team Academic All-American. Jared Jodon and Joe Davis went 1-2 at the ACC Outdoor Championships.
2010: For the second year in a row the Tech men swept all three medals at the indoor conference meet with Hunter Hall, Jared Jodon, and Yavgeniy Olhovsky taking the gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively. On the women’s side Kelly Phillips, Lisa Birnbaum, and Caitlin Thornley finished in scoring position as well bringing the total points scored by Hokie vaulters at the meet to thirty-six. Hall, Jodon, and Olhovsky went on to earn berths to the NCAA national championships where Olhovsky earned his fifth All-America certificate. The outdoor conference meet saw the Hokie vaulters earn two more medals and twenty-two points as Yavgeniy Olhovsky and Hunter Hall took gold and bronze medals at the competition with Jared Jodon and Kelly Phillips also scoring. Jodon and Olhovsky qualified to the national outdoor meet where Jodon earned his first All-America honor and Olhovsky his sixth.
2009: In 2009, Yavgeniy Olhovsky and Hunter Hall both earned indoor and outdoor All-America honors. Olhovsky also set an indoor school record with a vault of 18’2.5” (5.54m) at the VT Elite Meet, a vault that also qualified him for the world championships where he represented Israel. At the ACC indoor meet Hokie vaulters took five medals with Yavgeniy Olhovsky, Hunter Hall, and Jared Jodon finishing in first, second, and third positions while Abby Schaffer and Kelly Phillips earned gold and silver on the women’s side. During the season, Schaffer also set the indoor school record at 13’7.75” and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Outdoors, Olhovsky again struck conference gold with four other Virginia Tech vaulters finishing in scoring position.
2008: Phillips guided Tech pole vaulters to three All-America honors, two ACC championships and five all-conference performances. In the indoor season, Kelly Phillips won the conference crown in the pole vault as a freshman. On the men’s side, Olhovsky burst onto the scene with a second-place effort in the pole vault at the indoor ACC championships and a fifth-place vault of 17’8.5” at the NCAA indoor championships. Olhovsky came back in the outdoor season and received another All-America honor in the pole vault, clearing 17’2.75” for a tie for second place at the NCAA outdoor championships. Erin Mahony won her second ACC pole vault title with a vault of 12’9.5” in the outdoor season. Mahony and Phillips both qualified for the national meet, with Phillips capturing All-America status by placing sixth overall.
2007: The 2007 campaign was another record-filled year for Phillips’ vaulters. Thorsten Mueller became Virginia Tech’s fifth All-American in the pole vault with a seventh-place finish at the NCAA indoor national championships. Five vaulters qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships, more than any other team in the country and seven vaulters qualified for the NCAA regional championships, including Erin Mahony who became Tech’s first-ever women’s NCAA regional vault champion. On the men’s side, three Virginia Tech vaulters advanced to nationals, including ACC bronze medalist and NCAA Academic All-American Joe Samaniuk. In ACC championship action, Virginia Tech vaulters won three of the four 2007 vault titles, had six conference medalists, and scored 74 conference points. Conference champions included Mahony (indoors), Early (outdoors) and Mueller (indoors).
2006: In 2006, senior Brian Mondschein earned All-America honors for the third time with his fourth-place finish at the NCAA outdoor championships. During the indoor season, Phillips’ men’s and women’s squads scored a combined 30 points at the ACC indoor championships. The pole vault crews then tallied 23 points at the ACC outdoor championships, with Mondschein winning his third ACC championship.