Coach Mihaela F. Tripon is in her sixth season with the University of Pittsburgh Track and Field teams as coach of vertical and horizontal jumps, as well as combined events.
This past season, Tripon had a total of five All-Big East student-athletes in jumps. At the Big East Outdoor Championships, Eric Jones placed first in the triple jump, while Anita James and Ijelu Folarin both took third in the triple jump. Tripon coached Janessa Murphy to a second place finish in the ECAC Outdoor Championships. This season, Tripon had four ECAC qualifiers and three all-ECAC honorees. She also had four IC4A qualifiers, two NCAA regional qualifiers and one USATF qualifier.
In the 2007-2008 season, Coach Tripon coached Janessa Murphy, who was ranked regionally in the long jump, to Big East Conference Indoor and ECAC Indoor titles in addition to a top-20 finish at the NCAA East Regional meet. Additionally, Eric Jones captured first place at the Big East Indoor Championships in the triple jump and third at the outdoor championships. Jones also placed fifth at the IC4A Indoor Championships.
In her second season with the Panthers, Coach Tripon led the team to its second-consecutive Big East Outdoor title and fourth- consecutive ECAC outdoor title. She coached freshman Janessa Murphy to a second-place finish at the conference indoor championships in the long jump and Martina Hallman to the conference long jump title in the outdoor championships.
In her first year at Pitt, she played a significant role to the women's indoor and outdoor Big East titles and Division I Indoor and Outdoor ECAC Championship titles, as well as a men's seventh-place finish in the Division I IC4A Indoor Championships and a fifth-place finish in the Outdoor Championships. For their accomplishments, Pitt's coaches were named the 2005 Indoor and Outdoor Big East Coaching Staff of the Year.
Coach Tripon worked with Tamara McGill, an NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships qualifier, Big East Indoor and Outdoor Conference champion in multi-events as well as the Big East outdoor record-holder in the heptathlon. In addition, her women's jumpers finished second in the Big East Indoor Championships, second and third in the outdoor long jump and third and eighth in the indoor triple jump. Moreover, Coach Tripon prepared Martina Hallman for her first ECAC outdoor title in the triple jump. Coach Tripon also contributed to the men's team's Big East Championships with a fourth-place indoor finish and a fifth-place outdoor finish in the triple jump, along with seventh-place indoor and outdoor finishes in the long jump.
Coach Tripon came to Pittsburgh after a one-year stay at Morgan State University. In the 2003-04 season, Tripon had six NCAA regional qualifiers in jumps and sprints, the indoor and outdoor men's MEAC high jump champion, seven medalists at the Indoor and Outdoor MEAC Conference Championships and seven ECAC qualifiers.
Coach Tripon assisted California State University's Track and Field team during the 2002-03 season, when she was directly responsible for multi-event and jumps athletes. She assisted in coaching one long jump NCAA national qualifier, five regional qualifiers in jumps and sprints and had the Outdoor Big Ski long jump champion, as well as nine other medalists.
From 1993-2000, Coach Tripon was the men's and women's track and field coach at the Athletic Club in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, earning "Coach of the Year" in 2000. That year she coached three gold medalists at the youth national championships in addition to three record holders in sprints, hurdles and jumps events. She produced twelve medalists at the Indoor and Outdoor Romanian National Championships. Coach Tripon was the Director of Athletic Development in the Club's Board from 1997-00 during her coaching career in Romania, taking on directing and supervising track and field training methodology, curriculum development and the athlete's evaluation. Coach Tripon also helped organize the Romanian Olympic Museum - Cluj branch while a Romanian Olympic Academy member. She directed the Olympic cross country and Photo Exhibition and published several articles on Olympic topics in The Romanian Olympic Magazine.
Coach Tripon graduated with honors at the top of her class from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania, obtaining her master's degree in science of sport, with an emphasis on sport performance. She is married to Sebastian Tripon, and has a 10-year old daughter, Lisa and a newborn, Luana.