Johnson, Henry, Powell & Buford-Bailey Named National Coaches of the Year for Division I Outdoor T&F
NEW ORLEANS – Robert Johnson and Andy Powell of Oregon, Pat Henry of Texas A&M and Tonja Buford-Bailey of Texas have been voted by their peers as recipients of the National Coach of the Year winners for the 2014 NCAA Division I outdoor track & field season, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday.
On the heels of winning national team titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., Johnson of Oregon was named the National Men’s Coach of the Year, while Henry of Texas A&M earned the National Women’s Coach of the Year honor.
Powell of Oregon was named the National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year, and Buford-Bailey of Texas was awarded the National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year distinction.
MORE INFO: Past Winners
Johnson, in his second year as head coach of the Oregon track & field team, led the Ducks to their first men’s team title in 30 years in meet-record fashion. In defeating 2013 national co-champion Florida by 18 points, 88-70, his Oregon squad posted the best winning score by a men’s champion since the current eight-deep scoring system was first introduced in 1985.
His student-athletes won individual titles in four different disciplines throughout the weekend: distance events (Edward Cheserek, 10,000 meters), mid-distance (Mac Fleet, 1500 meters), hurdles (Devon Allen, 110-meter hurdles) and throws (Sam Crouser, javelin). His student-athletes also scored points in the sprints and combined events.
Prior to the NCAA Championships, his Ducks won the Pac-12 team title for the second consecutive year under his watch and the eighth time in a row overall. They defeated runner-up Southern California by more than 60 points, 163¼ – 99.
Henry, now in his 10th year guiding the Texas A&M track & field program, coached the Aggie women to their first national team title since 2011 and their fourth in the past six years.
The Aggies topped an historically high-scoring field to claim the title, defeating pre-meet favorite Texas by nine points, 75-66. Their 75 points was the highest winning total since 2002 when South Carolina scored 82 points.
Four event titles boosted A&M to its team title, with Kamaria Brown claiming crowns at 200 meters and as part of the 4×100 relay. Frosh Shamier Little won in the 400-meter hurdles, and Shelbi Vaughan earned the discus title.
His Aggies finished third at the SEC Championships.
Powell’s Oregon distance crew was a significant deciding factor in the Ducks winning their first outdoor national team title since 1984.
In his ninth season at Oregon, coached Cheserek to a title at 10,000 meters and a runner-up showing at 5000 meters, while he mentored Fleet to a defense of his 2013 1500 meters title in a victory over 2013 The Bowerman Finalist Lawi Lalang of Arizona.
His student-athletes also finished second, third and fourth at 5000 meters; first, fifth and eighth at 10,000 meters; and sixth in the 3000-meter steeplechase for 47 total points – a score that by itself would have finished second in the team race.
Buford-Bailey, in her first season at Texas, guided her athletes to similar success in the sprints and hurdles as the Longhorns finished runners-up.
Led by a national 400 meters title by Courtney Okolo and another title in the 4×400 relay, Buford-Bailey’s student-athletes to a combined score of 52 of Texas’ 66 total points. Earlier this season, Okolo also broke the collegiate record at 400 meters in 50.03.
With Okolo leading the way, Buford-Bailey’s competitors at 400 meters finish first, third and fourth, marking the first time one team has put three in the top four at 400 meters since South Carolina in 2002.