Mario Sategna was hired as an assistant coach for the University of Arkansas Razorback men’s track & field team on July 23, 2018, arriving on The Hill following 15 years at the University of Texas in Austin as an assistant, associate, and head coach during his time with the Longhorns.
When the University of Texas combined its men’s and women’s programs in June 2013, it looked to longtime men’s assistant coach Mario Sategna to led the new version of the Longhorns. In his four years leading the combined program, Sategna led the Longhorns to 11 Big 12 Conference titles, including the first three-peat in conference history in men’s outdoor track & field.
in 2017, Sategna guided the Longhorns to a sweep of the men’s Big 12 Championship titles. With the win outdoors the Texas men became the first team to win three consecutive Big 12 outdoor championships.
Sategna personally oversaw the multi-event athletes to great success in 2017. Steele Wasik transferred to Texas and in his first year as a Longhorn, he claimed Big 12 titles indoors and out in the heptathlon and decathlon. Indoors, Sategna’s group finished 1-2-3 in the heptathlon with Wolf Mahler and freshman George Patrick joining to dominate the event. Mahler would go on to earn First-Team All-America honors indoors and out while Wasik received second-team honors for their efforts at the NCAA Championships. Patrick also won the decathlon at the USATF Junior Championships and then claimed gold at the Pan Am Junior Championships for Team USA.
Texas saw great success in other areas in 2017 with the men finishing ninth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and scoring 21 points. Freshman O’Brien Wasome finished third in the triple jump and became just the fourth freshman in NCAA history to leap at least 16.40 meters (53-9.75) when he measured 16.49m (54-1.25). The women’s team finished seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships lead by Chrisann Gordon’s title in the 400 meters and a third-place finish from Rushelle Burton as she became the fastest freshman in NCAA history in the 100m hurdles.
Sategna closed 2017 by serving as the Men’s Head Coach for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in London. He helped guide the U.S. to its best finish as the men and women combined for a total of 30 medals.
Right out of the gates in 2014, the Longhorn women swept the Big 12 indoor and outdoor titles and then finished as the runners-up at both NCAA meets. The indoor/outdoor league sweep was the first for the Longhorns since 2006 and it came in dominating fashion. Texas won the Big 12 indoor title by 45 points (147-102) over second-place Baylor, the largest margin since 1999. The Horns followed up with a 35.50 point victory (149 to 113.30) over Baylor. The men were second at both the 2014 indoor and outdoor league meets, and finished 11th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The men were also 14th at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships and Marielle Hall won the Big 12 cross country title, the first in school history for the women.
During 2013-14, UT athletes claimed six NCAA event titles, 23 Big 12 crowns and 42 All-America honors. In addition, 13 claimed Academic All-Big 12 Track and Field honors and 13 secured a spot of the Academic All-Big 12 Cross Country team.
Other milestones in 2013-14 included the setting of a pair of collegiate records (Kaitlin Petrillose – indoor pole vault; Courtney Okolo – outdoor 400 meters) and 13 school marks. The Longhorns also finished among the top two at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the 10th time and had their best showing at the NCAA Outdoor meet since 2005 when they won the title.
All those accomplishments earned Sategna awards as both the 2014 Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year. He was also the NCAA South Central Region Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year.
His teams have continued to dominate the Big 12. In 2015, Texas completed the double sweep winning the conference crown indoors and out for both the men and women. It marked the first time since 2006 any school had accomplished the feat and just the fourth ever. Sategna earned Big 12 Coach of the Year for all four titles as well.
In 2016, the women’s team again dominated the conference with the men winning the outdoor title and finishing second indoors. The women won the outdoor title by 30.2 points and the men claimed their title by 18 points. The women rolled their Big 12 success into strong showings at the NCAA Championships, finishing fourth both indoors and out thanks to a sweep of the 4×400 relay and the 400 meters from Courtney Okolo. Teahna Daniels also became the first freshman to win the 60 meters and set an American junior record in the process at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
As an assistant coach at Texas, Sategna (suh-TANE-yuh) became one of the most respected field event coaches in the nation, serving under head coach Bubba Thornton and helping the Longhorns to finish among the top 10 at either the NCAA indoor or outdoor meets 13 times, including a sixth-place showing at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Two of the athletes he tutored in field events – Ryan Crouser (shot put) and Johannes Hock (decathlon) – captured national titles.
The sixth-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor meet would not have been possible without the production from the field-event unit. Crouser captured the second shot-put title in school history and Hock became only the second freshman in NCAA history to claim the decathlon crown with a total of 8,267, the ninth-best mark in collegiate history. In addition, Isaac Murphy ended his career with a fourth-place showing in the decathlon and Crouser was eighth in the discus.
The Longhorns also swept the Big 12 indoor and outdoor titles in 2013 for just the third time in school history. Hock won the hepthalon indoors and captured the decathlon at outdoors with a meet-record 8,293, the seventh-best total in collegiate history. Hock was the Big 12 Freshman Outdoor Performer of the Year. Hayden Baillio claimed the shot put at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and Crouser followed up with a victory in the shot put outdoors with a school-record and nation-leading toss of 69-2.50.
Hock (sixth in heptathlon) and Baillio (seventh in shot put) each earned first team All-America honors at the 2013 NCAA Indoor meet, helping the Horns finish tied for 23rd.
Sategna, an associate head coach from 2009-13, brought a unique set of credentials to the position. He was a National Champion student-athlete and has coached numerous All-Americans, NCAA Champions and Olympians.
During his 10 seasons as a UT assistant, Sategna helped coach seven throwers, jumpers and multi-event athletes (Crouser, Marquise Goodwin, Trey Hardee, Hock, Donovan Kilmartin, Andra Manson and Maston Wallace) to 11 NCAA titles. That group is among 21 of his athletes to earn 62 All-America honors.
While an assistant, UT posted consecutive third-place finishes at the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Indoor meet (best indoor team finishes in school history). They were third at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor meet and fourth in 2008. In addition, Sategna has been on staff for seven Big 12 Championships. His athletes have captured 35 conference titles (16 indoor; 19 outdoor).
Sategna has also been a known commodity on the international stage with the Longhorns. At the 2016 Olymic Games, he served as Men’s Assistant Coach for Throws on Team USA. His duties included working closely with the athletes and their personal coaches on scheduling and logistics during the compeittion to endure the athletes among a myriad of other duties to ensure Team USA athletes were prepared to compete on the world’s biggest stage.
In 2012, he helped Goodwin capture the long jump at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and finish 10th at the London Olympics. Goodwin became the first collegian to win both the Olympic Trials and the NCAA Outdoors long jump competition in the same year since 1960. He was also the first-ever Longhorn to reach the long-jump final at the Olympics.
Sategna continues to train Hardee, who is one of the elite athletes in the world. Hardee won the silver medal in the decathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He tallied 8,671 points and was in second place from wire-to-wire behind fellow American Ashton Eaton who had 8,869 and was in reach of the Olympic record (8,893 by Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic in 2004). Eaton and Hardee became the first Americans to go one-two in the Olympic decathlon since Milton Campbell and Rafer Johnson in 1956.
Sategna moved to Texas from the University of Minnesota where he was the men’s assistant coach for four years (1999-03). In that position, he was in charge of the throws, multi-events, pole vault and high hurdler events. He coached student-athletes to four Big Ten individual crowns, two All-America honors and eight school records. Sategna also helped guide Minnesota to the Big Ten Conference Outdoor title, a first-place finish in the USTCA Indoor Team Power Rankings and top 10 showings at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships during the 2003 campaign.
Before his tenure at Minnesota, Sategna served as an assistant coach in charge of throws at Wichita State from 1998-99. Prior to his stint with the Shockers, Sategna was a physical education teacher and track and field coach at Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy in 1997-98 and a volunteer assistant track and field coach at LSU in 1996-97.
A standout decathlete, Sategna was a three-time All-American at LSU in the 1990s. He won the 1994 Southeastern Conference title and the 1995 NCAA crown in the decathlon, and his personal-best point total of 8,172 still stands as the LSU record and ranked among the NCAA top 10 all-time point totals. He also finished sixth in the World University Games, was a 1996 United States Olympic Trials qualifier and won the 1997 U.S. versus Germany Decathlon Dual meet (8,107).
A native of Bloomfield, N.M., Sategna earned a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from LSU in 1996 and a master of education degree in applied kinesiology from Minnesota in 2002. Sategna is USATF Level II certified in sprints, hurdles, throws and multi-events.
Sategna and his wife, Dahlia, reside in Fayetteville with their three children.