Michael Stark
Michael Stark
  • Title:
    Assistant Coach
  • Email:
  • Previous College:
    Penn State Behrend, '11
  • Bachelor's Degree:
    Finance & Economics


Michael Stark's time as assistant men's and women's track and field coach has seen the men's team finish first or second in the University Athletic Association (UAA) on 13 occassions during his eight years with the team. The women's team had one of its best finishes in program history in 2018 when the outdoor team placed fourth in the UAA and sent two athletes to the NCAA Championships.

In 2017, the men's team swept the UAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship team titles. The coaching staff received league honors five times, with 2019's indoor honor and the 2017 indoor and outdoor staffs joining the 2013 UAA Indoor Coaching Staff of the Year and 2012 UAA Outdoor Coaching Staff of the Year honors. Stark's primary role is as the pole vault and jumps coach..

As the pole vault coach, Stark mentored sophomore Michelle Karabin to an All-American finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2018, the first honor for a pole vault student-athlete in Carnegie Mellon history. The performance for Karabin came a year after Grace Yee became the first Tartan pole vaulter to compete in both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships. Stark coached Yee to three pole vault titles at the UAA Outdoor Championships while she reset her own school records in both seasons in 2017. The 2017 season also witnessed two new school records on the men's side. In his third year on staff, one of his athletes set the school record in the pole vault for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

In 2019, Stark mentored sophomore Jack Murphy to two regional awards and two UAA second-place finishes in the pole vault, while Karabin also reached regional status.

Prior to the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships getting canceled due to COVID-19, Stark and Karabin were set to return to the championship field. Karabin closed her career with an All-American honor and earned the Elite 90 award for having the highest GPA at the championships.

In 2013, Stark improved Mike McDermott's results in the high jump as he cleared a career-best 1.98m on his way to the UAA title at the outdoor championships while McDermott also earned All-UAA honors at the indoor meet in the high jump, pole vault and long jump with a career-best mark of 6.44m.

Part of his work in 2012 saw McDermott clear 1.95m in the high jump, which is second on the Tartans' all-time indoor list. Senior Ryan Kissell also improved his marks in both the long jump and triple jump as he earned All-UAA in both events at the outdoor meet.

Prior to joining the Tartans, Stark was a four-year varsity letter winner on the track and field team at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College where he graduated with a degree in finance and economics with a minor in management in 2011. As a freshman, Stark was named Rookie of the Year for the program as he also garnered three indoor team MVP awards and two outdoor team MVP awards.

Stark still holds school records in the decathlon and 60m hurdles at Behrend and previously held the school record in the pole vault. A multiple conference title winner in pole vault, decathlon, hurdles, high jump and long jump, Stark met provisional qualifying marks in the pole vault and hurdles, thus earning USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors.

Stark is currently working for PNC as a Relationship Strategist Manager in their Wealth Management department after holding a position at BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh as a Portfolio Manger in the Wealth Management department. He currently holds the following coaching certifications; USTFCCCA Track & Field Technical Certification, National Pole Vault Coaches Association and NFHS Pole Vault Certification and is a member of the Pole Vault Safety Certification Board.