James Overbo enters his ninth season as a member of the Crusader track and field coaching staff, and his fourth as associate head coach in 2016-17, working with the jumpers, javelin throwers and the multi-event athletes.
Over his tenure at Valpo, Overbo has seen numerous athletes achieve tremendous success under his tutelage. In his first seven years, athletes Overbo has coached have set 11 program records and earned 36 spots on the Crusaders' all-time top-five charts. In addition, athletes in Overbo's events have earned 13 Horizon League championships, while 27 times his athletes have earned All-League accolades. Four of his athletes have earned spots in the NCAA Regional meet as well.
During Overbo's time at Valpo, a number of Crusaders have excelled in the javelin throw. Four times in Overbo's tenure, a Valpo thrower has claimed the Horizon League title in the javelin throw - Brett Maynard (2009), Vince Liuzzo (2010) and Jeremy Getz (2013, 2015). Getz set a gold standard for Crusader javelin throwers under Overbo's tutelage, smashing the program modern-era record with a mark of 212'9" in the event and twice earning berths to the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Recently, Overbo's pole vaulters have achieved tremendous success. On the men's side, Justin Zosso has claimed Horizon League titles both indoors and outdoors in the event each of the last two seasons while setting the school record in both venues. Over the last two years, Overbo has coached the top four pole vaulters in men's program history indoors and the top two outdoors. On the women's side, Sarah Peters won the league championship in the pole vault outdoors in 2014 and indoors in 2015 and set the program record indoors.
Overbo’s jumpers have experienced plenty of success during his time with the Crusaders as well, highlighted by the performance of Jarrett Mickens. Overbo coached Mickens as he was a four-time All-Horizon League honoree and earned Most Outstanding Field Performer honors at the 2011 HL Indoor Championships. Mickens, who seven times earned HL Male Field Athlete of the Week honors while being coached by Overbo, broke school records in both the long and triple jump indoors and the long jump outdoors, surpassing 35-year-old records in all three events.
On the women's side, Overbo mentored Jazmin Taylor as she became the most prolific high jumper in program history. Taylor set school records both indoors and outdoors in the high jump and was a four-time All-Horizon League honoree in the event, including winning the league title outdoors in 2015.
Overbo came to Valparaiso from McNeese State University, where he competed in the pole vault for the Cowboys' track and field squad for four years. He has also served as an assistant coach at the Lone Star Pole Vault Club.
A native of Austin, Texas, Overbo earned a bachelor's degree of general studies with a concentration in health promotion from McNeese State in 2008. Overbo has earned his USATF Level 1 Certification, as well as certification as an official. He also owns his USATF Level 2 Certification in the jumps and throws and is also a USTFCCCA Certified Jumps Specialist. He is also a USTFCCCA Certified Multis Specialist and is in the process of becoming certified as a Master's Endorsed Horizontal Jumps Coach.