Jose Luiz Barbosa, a Brazilian native and former Olympic 800-meter distance runner, joined the UC Davis as the head cross country coach in the summer of 2017.
Barbosa participated in four consecutive Olympic Games: 1984 in Los Angeles, USA, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, 1992 in Barcelona, Spain, and in 1996 in Atlanta, USA. Also, he won first-place titles at the 1986 Grand Prix Circuit of Athletes in Italy, 1987 World Indoor Track and Field Championship in Indianapolis, USA, and at the 1995 Pan American Games in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.
In 1991, he was ranked number one in the world in the 800 meters, and also placed second at the World Track and Field Championship in Tokyo, Japan that year.
Barbosa retired from World Class competition in 2000, and pursued a career in coaching.
From 2010 to 2014, he coached the cross country and track teams at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, Calif. Starting in 2015, he became the head coach of the cross country and track distance teams at San Diego Mesa Junior College in San Diego, Calif.
Aside from coaching cross country and track, he was a personal conditioning trainer for Leandro Barbosa, a NBA player on the Phoenix Suns, for three years (2008-2010).
In 2008, the former Olympian earned a degree in Physical Education and a certification in strength training and conditioning for world-class athletes at Centro Universitario das Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas in Sao Paulo, Brazil.