Norman Alston, Jr
Track & Field Head Coach
Merced College is pleased to announce the hiring of Norman Alston Jr. as the seventh head track and field coach in college history. Alston replaces Louis Foy Jr., who has been named assistantdirector of the College’s student equity and support center. “I am honored to follow Coach Foy,” says Alston. “I am eager to be coaching Blue Devil track athletes in Merced.”
Alston brings nearly 30 years of coaching experience to his new assignment as well as an impressive pedigree as a jumps competitor. He begin coaching in 1984-85 at Fresno City College as the long and triple jumps coach. In his first two years with the Rams, 13 of his jumpers qualified for the state meet. From 2003 to 2007, he coached at Roosevelt High School in Fresno as sprints and jumps coach. At Roosevelt, he coached the 4x100 relay team to the Valley Championship each year. One of his sprinters in that period was his son, Kyle, whom he coached into personal bests in the 100m (10.45), and 200m (20.8). Alston moved to Clovis West High School from 2008-19, at the same time returning to FCC to double as jumps coach.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Norman came to California as a junior in high school, when his father, an army recruiter, was posted to Fresno. From 1977-79 he attended FCC and competed on the track and field team, receiving an AA degree in recreation. He transferred to California State Hayward, and spent 1979-1981 studying and competing. At Hayward, he broke the school record in the long jump with a 26’3 and was a three-time All-America. Upon graduation, he was selected for the American national team. With a personal best of 27’3” in the long jump (53’4” in the triple jump) he qualified for the Olympic trials in 1980 and 1984 though circumstances prevented him from competing in either. By a directive from President Jimmy Carts, in response to the war in Afghanistan, the Americans boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Just before the trials in 1984 in Los Angeles, Alston injured his knee.
Norman Alston obtained a masters in Kinesiology Exercise Science from Concordia University. He was elected to CSU Hayward’s athletics Hall of Fame in 2019 He is a life-long learner who believes strongly in the student part of the phrase “student-athlete”. “You can run track at this level for two years,” he says, “maybe a few years after that, “But to fulfill your life, you need that education.”
Norman and his wife Grace live in Atwater.