Coaches corner: Connie Teaberry

By Dustin King

Connie Teaberry, NIU track and field coach, has been coaching the Huskies since 2004.

This season, the St. Louis native coached the Huskies to their best finish in the MAC Indoor Conference Championship in the program’s history.

The Northern Star talked with Teaberry about her days as a pro, the Olympics and her previous coaching stints.

Northern Star: When did you start competing in track and field meets?

Connie Teaberry: In the sixth grade.

NS: When did you become a professional runner?

CT: In 1992, the same year I graduated from Kansas St.

NS: How did you become pro?

CT: After I graduated from college, I moved back to St. Louis and received a lot of support from my coaches and family.

I started training. I moved to Western Kentucky and trained with a former coach. After that, I was ready.

NS: How many major competitions did you compete in?

CT: I competed in the high jump at the 1993 World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany and the 1995 World Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

I also did the high jump in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia.

NS: What was your greatest memory during the Olympics?

CT: Being able to compete in front of former coaches and family. Most of my big meets were in Europe, so it was hard for the family to see me.

NS: What was the toughest time of your professional career?

CT: Having knee surgery after the ‘93 World Championship. I had reconstructive surgery, but I got a lot of support from my family. I was able to bounce back to make the Olympics.

NS: How many coaching positions did you have before NIU?

CT: Four. I started as an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky from 1992 to 1995. Then I went to Toledo and coached for three years,

Arizona State for a year, Ohio University for five weeks in 2004 (laughing) and then I came to DeKalb.

NS: What do you enjoy more coaching or competing?

CT: At the time, I was competing. I enjoyed it more than coaching. Now coaching is my life; I like giving the opportunity to student athletes.

NS: What is your advice to any athlete who wants to make the Olympics?

CT: Believing in yourself, a lot of sacrifice and putting in that work.