Pat Licari has coached...
3 Olympians in 2008, 2012 & 2016
7 NCAA national champions
32 Conference Champions
The men's American Record holder
2 gold, silver & bronze medalist in the World Championships
Competitors in the Commonwealth Games, the Pan-Am Games & the Central American and Caribbean Games
2012 National Coach of the Year
USATF level 2 certified
coached hundreds of high school kids in camps and clinics
Pat competed at Sumner High School where he was a State Champion in 1986. From there he went to Highline Community College and was All-Conference. He then transferred to WSU and was All PAC-10 and a member of the 1991 National Dual Meet Championship team as a Cougar. He went back to Highline CC to be the Head coach of the Track team for 5 years. Then Pat coached at The University of Washington for over 20 years. Now he wants to apply his knowledge and coaching to anyone who is willing to put in the time to improve. Beginners with no vaulting experience are welcome! At practices there will be a lot of vaulting, numerous drills, and other activities to help you jump higher.
“I first made the decision to go to UW because they had a great business program. Little did I know I would be working with a person who would turn out to be one of the best coaches in the world. Pat literally changed the direction of my life and helped me to realize my potential in the pole vault. The fundamentals that he taught me, took me to two Olympic Games and the American record. I never planned on pole vaulting professionally, but with hard work, dedication and the coaching Pat provided, he was able to open doors to me that I never thought possible. For any high school athlete looking to excel in vaulting…this is the place to start!
Diamara Planell Cruz
“Pat Licari is exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I started pole vaulting late in the game and by some stroke of luck Pat saw potential I didn’t even see in myself yet. When I finally got the chance to work with him it took 6 months and a massive one foot PR for me to start seeing what Pat had seen all along. It was the first time I truly believed I had what it took to go the distance, not just at the NCAA level, but after college too. Fast forward 5 years of having the privilege to work with Pat and we have built quite a resume together from NCAA All-American to Olympian. He’s the guy that was always in my corner and who always responded to every goal I set my eyes on with, “Let’s do it”. I’ve seen him work with countless athletes in our time together and each one is better because of it, including myself. To say I’d recommend Pat Licari is an understatement.”
“Pat Licari is undeniably one of the best coaches I have ever had the privilege to be coached by. While at the University of Washington from 2013-2017 he helped me improve my personal record by almost two whole feet. He has an incredible ability to see the potential in athletes and work with them to become some of the best vaulters in the country. When I first came to UW I consistently vaulted almost two to three feet under on my step and had a terrible left arm. By the time I graduated, my step was on and my left arm was straight! These were two examples of my pole vault technique that Pat noticed I could improve on and he helped me to fix so that I could vault 14 feet 3 in. Not only is Pat Licari a guru in the pole vault, he also has a very easy-going and fun personality that makes discussing problems or communicating ideas very easy. I always trusted his judgement when it came to my vault and his knowledge in workouts and drills. He has an unbelievable creativity when it comes to making drills. No problem cannot be solved with Pat Licari and an athlete’s commitment to hard work and trust in the process. I highly recommend any athlete to take advantage of the opportunity to work with Pat Licari, he will improve your vault to incredible heights!”
“Pat has a knowledge of the pole vault that is difficult to match. He has a unique ability to help vaulters of all different shapes and sizes make huge improvements. It was a pleasure training under him during my 4 years at college.”
“I first worked with Pat as a freshman in high school where I learned many of the fundamental pole vault drills and concepts at a local camp in Pennsylvania.
That summer, the handful of sessions had I with him were such a blast, and I had learned so much, it soon became a dream of mine to work under him at the University of Washington.
After improving throughout my high school career, and with his help during the summer camps, Pat recruited me to compete at the University of Washington as a vaulter and hurdler (and lefty).
After working with Pat for those 4 years, I believe he is a genius and can take a vaulter as far as they want to go. What has stood out most to me is his ruthless optimism that is so critical in this discipline as well as his ability to dissect an athlete's technique and tailor his program/drills accordingly.
Whether it's in a few sessions or over the course of your career, Pat has the experience, passion, and creativity to help any vaulter to see long-term progress.”
"I was lucky enough for Coach Licari to give me a chance and he coached
me to become a 4 x NCAA All- American, PAC-12 Champion, Outdoor school
record holder for UW and USA Championship qualifier.
Coach Licari has the incredible ability to build every athlete he
works with into the best Pole Vaulter they can possibly be. He see's
the potential in everyone and is able to build athlete's up from
literally ground zero. His creativity is unreal especially when it
comes to building some of the most popular pole vault drills around!
He is an inspiration in the pole vault community and one of the best
pole vault coaches in the world! Coach Licari has also coached a
number of Olympians and professional athletes.He has the best sense of
humor, especially if you love hilarious move quotes!"
In 2006 as a freshman at University of Washington, Pat Licari became my new pole vault coach. Before the end of my first indoor season I had improved my personal best from 17’5” to 18’1”. Pat diagnosed a problem with my plant and he helped me to correct it which resulted rather quickly in a new personal record. He then coached me to my first indoor NCAA championship in 2010 where I won 1st place with a jump of 18’4”. Then in 2011, I earned 1st place at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA championships. That same year I also jumped my all time personal best of 18’9” at the Mt. Sac Relays. Later in my career, he coached me to place 3rd at the 2012 Olympic Trials . Pat has a wisdom about the event that few coaches have. His years of experience allow him to quickly identify problem areas with a vaulter’s jump and then help the vaulter correct it to improve their personal best. In addition to his expertise, is his ability to make vaulting fun. He is a humble, funny, and personable coach which makes vaulting with him an absolute blast. I am truly thankful for everything Pat has done for me as a coach and as a friend. I could never have accomplished what I did as a vaulter without Pat. He put an immense amount of time and thought into me as an athlete. Pat is truly dedicated and passionate in his coaching and his results speak for themselves. The number of champions he has produced is almost unheard of. I wish all vaulters were as lucky as I was to have Pat as a coach.
Logan Miller Wright
“I have countless positive statements I could make about Pat Licari, both as a person and as a coach. I vaulted for him for 5 years while at The University of Washington and he made those years such a memorable experience. Under his coaching I completed my college career as a 3 time All American, finishing fourth in NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships and also competed in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. His coaching style and invaluable vaulting knowledge base were the primary reasons I jumped the bars that qualified me for those elite events. Pat is an athlete’s coach, with a coaching style of encouraging, patient yet demanding. He made practices both fun and positive and is always thinking of new drills and new ways to improve his athletes. He has an ability to communicate technical skills in a way that gets results for each athlete's style. Pat Licari is a world class pole vault coach with a number of Olympians, NCAA and Pac 12 champions to prove it. I will forever be grateful for having the opportunity to work with Coach Licari.”
"I walked into college as one of the best long and high jumpers in the country out of high school. Pat challenged me to do things I have never done, and by the time my freshman year of college was over I had improved over a foot in the long jump and 3 inches in the high jump. His knowledge on the jumps make him something very special. He is able to take complicated concepts and break them down point by point in competitions to give you a bigger advantage. His calm demeanor during the biggest competitions brought a level of confidence to me as an athlete! Being coached by Coach Licari has taught me to never lose hope in my abilities as an athlete and as a person. Coming off a knee surgery in 2013 he told me that he saw a champion inside of me. That same year I made my fourth national team. He was able to see something in me that I never knew I had."
"Training and competing in pole vault was one of my life’s passions, Pat
was an integral part of my successes and feedback with my failures that
made me a better athlete. His knowledge of the event is immense, but more importantly his amiable nature and coaching style make it fun to work hard and get on the runway every practice and competition."
"I was lucky enough to have Pat as my pole vault coach for seven years,
four at the University of Washington, and three post-collegiate
seasons. During that time I improved my PR by 28", competed in two
Olympic Trials, and won the 2005 NCAA title. While the
accomplishments of Pat’s athletes speak for themselves, what I believe
truly makes Pat an impressive coach is his ability help athletes of
any level improve. While he recruited many great scholarship athletes
to the University of Washington, he also took walk-on athletes and
developed them into competitors at the conference and even national
level. He is innovative and creative in his coaching techniques, and
can apply his knowledge to any vaulter, from beginner to American
"I had the privilege of working with Coach Licari throughout my entire pole vaulting career. He took me from being an elite gymnast with zero experience to jumping 12'2 at my very first competition, only after pole vaulting for two weeks. During my time working with Coach Licari, I became an NCAA All-American, medaled at the PAC-10 Championships, jumped 4.45m, placed 3rd at the Commonwealth Games, and competed on the Canadian National team. I credit my success to Pat's technical guidance but also his passion for the event and his dedication to truly helping me achieve my goals. He has an incredible understanding of how to take gymnasts and apply their unique skill set in order to allow for them to develop into strong vaulters. Pat's technical coaching is world class but who he is as a person, is really what made my pole vaulting experience both successful and enjoyable."
"Pat has made a huge impact on my vaulting career. His work with my approach and plant improved my vault PR from 17'6" to 18'4.75". We were able to make these improvements through Pat's innovative self-designed equipment and data driven philosophy on technique. He is truly one of the world's top pole vault coaches."
"Pat is incredible at picking apart components of your vault. I’ve never
heard him say the same thing to multiple athletes, because he knows
everyone’s vault is unique to them. He is a very technical coach, but it’s
his keen eye for the fluidity of the vault that sets him apart.
Also training with Pat is always a fun and novel experience. Have you ever used industrial fans to mimic head/side winds? Well… we did prior to pac 12’s, and I fully believe that was the edge that resulted in my
"Pat Licari is the ultimate reason that I chose to come to attend the
University of Washington. His knowledge of track and field and his
coaching record presented the best situation to learn one of the
hardest events in the sport. Pat Licari believed that I could be
competitive in the decathlon at the national level within my first
year. Entering UW as a freshman and having no previous multi event and
polevault skills, in 5 months; his coaching made me the MPSF champion
and Heptathlon school record holder. In 6 months he made me into an
All-American. In 15 months he coached me to 16’ feet in the polevault.
Pat’s instruction, encouragement, and belief eventually led me to
becoming one of the top 10 best Decathletes in US history and a 2016
Olympian. His consistency, optimism, and ability to problem solve
anything with a cool use of intellect (and sometimes duct tape) make
him one of the best coaches in the world. Thank you for believing in
my abilities when I was a skinny teenager and helping me push through
the ups and downs of this sport to get to the pinnacle!"
"I owe so much of my success to Pat. Under his guidance at UW my pole vault technique improved dramatically and as a result I jumped higher than I ever expected.
It’s true Pat has world-class knowledge and experience. But what helped the most was the fun and positive environment he created. His passion for the vault inspired me to always bring a good attitude to the track and always strive to improve.
I strongly believe that vaulting with Pat allowed me to reach my athletic potential."
"I had the pleasure of working with Pat Licari following a nearly career ending shoulder injury after the 2004 Olympic season. I had returned to Vancouver from Europe to rehab my injuries and was fortunate to join his post collegiate group that was training in Seattle. His positive attitude, passion for the sport and determination and drive to analyze my skills helped me recover from injury and return to vaulting stronger and with improved technique and efficiency the following season. After a year of training, I was back competing for Canada, took home a Bronze Medal at Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and won the Canadian Outdoor Championships in Toronto after a year off due to injury. I can't thank Pat enough for encouraging me to continue training and competing along with helping me find the love and fire to jump again."
"My dad let me start vaulting when I was only about 7 years old. He made a wooden box, pvc pipes and a bungee into a mini pole vault pit on our sand volleyball court just because I wanted to try vaulting but didn't have the strength to do it for real. That is one of his best qualities, being able to adjust things to fit a persons abilities. Fast forward 11 years and now I'm going to college to continue vaulting because he not only coached me to where I am today but also showed me my potential. One of the greatest things my dad has taught me as a coach is that there are always things you can do to get better. Anytime I get negative about my potential he reassures me of the things I can work on to get to that next PR."