Two-time Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser joined the Razorbacks as a volunteer assistant for the men’s track & field program in 2020. During his time in Arkansas, Crouser set a pair of world records in 2021 in leading up to a successful gold medal title defense during the Tokyo Olympics. Crouser was named 2021 Men’s Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News.
Undefeated through 14 meets in 2021, Crouser produced a spectacular season. He broke the indoor world record in Fayetteville with a mark of 74-10.5 (22.82) that bettered the previous mark of 74-4.25 (22.66) set in 1989 by Randy Barnes. Outdoors, Crouser topped another long-standing world record in Eugene to claim the Olympic Trials title with a massive heave of 76-8.25 (23.37) that added 10 inches to the previous world record (75-10.25 [23.12} by Barnes in 1990), marking the biggest improvement of the shot world record since Randy Matson’s last world record 54 years ago.
In Tokyo, Crouser broke his previous Olympic record three times as his winning toss of 76-5.5 (23.30) came within less than three inches of his world record. Crouser’s campaign also included a victory in the Diamond League final.
In 2016, Crouser set an Olympic shot put record in claiming the gold medal for the United States with a mark of 73-10.75 (22.52) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after a storied career at the University of Texas. A four-time NCAA champion in the shot put (2014, 2016 indoors and 2013, 2014 outdoors) for the Longhorns, Crouser has also claimed six USATF titles in the shot put (Outdoor – 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021; Indoor – 2019, 2020).
In the 2019 World Championships, held in Doha, Qatar, Crouser finished with a silver medal as he missed out on the gold medal position by a quarter of an inch (one centimeter) with a then career best of 75-1.75 (22.90).
Named Track & Field News High School Athlete of the Year in 2011, Crouser’s accolades on an international level started in 2009 when he claimed the gold medal at the World Youth Championships prior to his move to Austin. Once at Texas, Crouser’s career continued to blossom earning the Big 12 Indoor Freshman of the Year award in 2012 – the same year he won the Big 12 shot put indoor championship. During his Longhorn career, Crouser was named the 2014 USTFCCCA Men’s National Field Event Athlete of the Year and accumulated nine USTFCCCA first-team All-America honors.
A native of Boring, Oregon, Crouser comes from a deep family of track & field talent. His father, Mitch, a thrower at Idaho, was an alternate on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. His uncle, Dean Crouser, was a three-time NCAA champion at Oregon, winning the shot put and discus in 1982 and the discus again in 1983. His uncle, Brian Crouser, was a two-time NCAA javelin champion (1982, 1985) and an Olympian in 1988 and 1992. His cousin, Sam Crouser, was also a two-time NCAA javelin champion at Oregon.