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The Staff

Who We Are

Austin Hicks

Head Coach & Club Director

Austin has been involved with pole vaulting for almost 20 years. After much success as a student-athlete, he aimed his passion for the sport towards helping others succeed. Austin took over Buckeye Pole Vault Academy after the retirement of Dave Garcia. He trained at BPVA as a student and understands the tremendous impact this club has on rising athletes of all skill levels. Second to BPVA, Austin is the PV coach for Olentangy Liberty High School. He's had 2 athletes from OLHS and many BPVA members compete at high school and middle school state championships. 



2nd place at 2010 Indoor State Championship

2nd place at 2010 Midwest Meet of Champions 

4th place at 2009 Outdoor State Championship 

District and Regional Champion 


Indoor PR: 16'

Outdoor PR: 16'1"

Wooden Hut

Jay Mathey

Volunteer Coach

Jay has been involved in track and pole vaulting for over 30 years. He ran and vaulted for Newark High school then continued his vaulting (and football) career at BGSU and Ohio University. After a head coaching spot at Key West High School, Mathy has coached 2 state champs (Szerencsits & Starcher) and four runner ups (Hicks, Bice, Brookshire & Szerencsits) at Olentangy high schools in his home state here in Ohio. Mathey currently teaches AP Physics at Scioto HS and serves on the ASTM rules sub-committee for pole vault at the national level.



16’1 NCAA vaulter 

Former OSU Asst PV Coach

20 +male athletes over 14 ft/ 20 + females over 10 ft

5 male vaulters over 15 feet / 3 females over 12 ft

Claim to fame: Whitney and Austin’s high school coach!

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Brian Clymer

Volunteer Coach/S&C Specialist

Clymer's professional collegiate coaching experience spans over 15 years including Kent State, Wake Forest University and Kenyon College T&F programs. Most recently, he spent seven years at Kenyon College coaching the sprints/jumps/hurdles/multis. Prior to Kenyon, he spent eight years as an assistant jumps coach at Wake Forest University, and two years during the late '90s as a volunteer assistant vertical jumps coach at his track alma mater, Kent State University where he competed as a pole vaulter.


Clymer has coached an NCAA All-American PVer, HJer, Hurdler, Sprinter and Heptathlete, while also coaching a national qualifier in the TJ. In addition to his success with college athletes, he's also assisted multiple post-collegiate athletes in their jumping events as they've reached top 5 national level status in the Heptathlon & Decathlon, including Chris Boyles, Chris Helwick, Lela V. Nelson, as well as 2x Liberian Olympian Jangy Addy. Jangy Addy is still the Liberian National record holder in the PV.

Clymer owns certifications as a Strength & Conditioning Specialist from the ISSA, as well as USATF Level One, USTFCCCA Track and Field Technical and Meet Management certifications, and ALTIS certifications in Foundations, Short Sprints, Horizontal Jumps, Throws, Performance Therapy and Pole Vault. Coach Clymer is CPR/AED certified.


Shawn O'Neill

Volunteer Coach

Shawn developed his passion for pole vaulting in the small town of Celina, OH where he attended high school.  He later graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. O’Neill furthered his education by obtaining a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Walden University. 


Shawn currently teaches for Olentangy Local Schools and has coached the pole vault at Olentangy Orange High School for over 10 years.  Coach O’Neill has had numerous successful and accomplished vaulters competing at the State and National levels (State Champion 2016, National Champion 2017).  O’Neill has volunteered at BPVA for over 8 years where he continues to focus on each individual's needs throughout the pole vault teaching progression from technical, practical, and applicable implementation aspects of the event. 

Alex Jacobs

Volunteer Coach/S&C Specialist

Alex had a late start with pole vault, beginning in his junior year of high school (2014). After only a year of training, he ended up breaking the Dublin Jerome High School pole vault record (indoors and outdoors) with jumps of 14’. He competed at Eastern Michigan University in the Decathlon through the middle of his sophomore season before focusing solely on the vault. He ended his college career with a jumps of 4.91m (16’1”) indoors and 5.11m (16’9.25”) outdoors. He began training at Buckeye Pole Vault Academy in December of 2018 and is continuing to train here for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Alex also spent 300 hours interning with the strength and conditioning coach at Eastern Michigan University and is using that knowledge to help BPVA athletes gain as much strength and speed as possible.



Dublin Jerome HS Pole Vault record holder; 14’ (2015)

3rd Place in the Mid-American Conference; 16’7’ (2019)

19th in the NCAA East Region; 16’9.25” (2019)

Post collegiate PR: 17'6.5"

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