Kovacs competing in senior year at Penn State
|Full name||Joseph Mathias Kovacs|
June 28, 1989 |
|Residence||State College, Pennsylvania|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||276 lb (125 kg)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Coached by||Art Venegas|
|Achievements and titles|
Outdoor 22.35 m (73 ft 33⁄4 in)Indoor 70 ft 5.5 in (21.476 m)
Before attending Penn State, he excelled in high school and won PIAA titles in the discus and the shot put during senior season. The winning shot put mark of 64 ft 10.75 in (19.7803 m) is the PIAA class AA State record.
Kovacs was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1989. He was raised by parents Joseph (deceased 1997) and Joanna Kovacs. He is a 2007 graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Kovacs attended Penn State University and graduated in 2011, majoring in Energy Business and Finance.
Kovacs in his first year as a professional was sponsored by Nike, Inc.. He missed the podium with a 4th place finish in the United States Olympic Trials (track and field) with a best throw of 21.08m/69-2, placed 4th at the NCAA D1 outdoor championship with a best throw of 19.58m/65-1.5, but won the Shot Put Big Ten Conference Outdoor championship with a best throw of 20.85m/68-5. He enjoyed a success filled summer on the European Track Circuit with 2nd in Paris 20.44 meters / 67-0.75 feet; 2nd in Madrid 19.56 meters / 64-2.25 feet; 6th in London 19.61 meters / 64–4 feet.
Kovacs won the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix with his first 70 foot throw. He then placed 3rd at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a throw of 70 ft 5.5 in (21.476 m). On June 25, 2014 Joe Kovacs won the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at a special venue in front of the California State Capitol, with a personal best of 72' 3.5", the top throw in the world for 2014.
As a guest competitor at the UCLA hosted Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational on April 11, 2015, Kovacs improved his personal best (though not a stadium record) with a 22.35 m (73 ft 33⁄4 in) to again take the early season world lead, by almost a full meter at the time. It was the farthest throw in the world since 2010 and ranks him as the #12 performer of all time. He backed that up with his following throw over 21.70 m (71 ft 21⁄4 in).