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Pfaff, the mentor and advisor
All hard work for Tim and
Marion now

Raleigh: American coach Dan Pfaff, new mentor to Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery, says he has no magic formula for the world’s two top sprinters.

“They are very, very talented people who have done tremendous things in the world of track and field,” Pfaff said in an interview from Austin, Texas.

“I see my role as to be a mentor, an advisor, and maybe some of the things and the ways I look at things will be invigorating for them and maybe it will spurn them to go to a little better level of performance or consistency of performance.

Triple Olympic champion Jones and world 100m record-holder Montgomery split with Trevor Graham last year. The pair, whose first child was born last month, turned to Pfaff after a brief but controversial association with Canadian coach Charlie Francis.

Francis was banned for life by the Canadian national federation after admitting giving steroids to Ben Johnson, who tested positive after winning the 1988 Seoul Olympic final in world record time.

Best known internationally for his work with Canada’s 1996 Olympic 100m champion and former world record-holder Donovan Bailey of Canada, Pfaff has tutored international sprinters and field events performers while also serving as an assistant coach at the University of Texas.

“My forte over the years has been taking older athletes who come with a suitcase load of injuries, and maybe some confidence issues, and resurrect them,” Pfaff said.

Jones should benefit especially from Pfaff’s versatility as she returns to the track next season after a year away.

Pfaff confirmed the long jump had been a topic in his discussions with Jones but he would not say whether Jones would resume her jumping career next year. “I will do what she tells me to do,” Pfaff said.

The seasoned coach, who is widely respected as a technician, said he hoped to begin working with Montgomery as soon as possible. His timetable will depend on his son’s recovery from a serious automobile accident in Texas last week.

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