Wherever Billy Maxwell has coached and in whichever role he played on those coaching staffs, there’s been one constant throughout his career: winning.
Maxwell has enjoyed tremendous success throughout a career as a sprints, hurdles and jumps coach – and an exceptional recruiter – that spans back to the mid-1960s. He’s been a part of national championship-winning staffs as an assistant coach at Tennessee, won a national title as the head coach at LSU, and coached contenders at Texas and Nebraska – where he has coached for more than two decades.
In total, he’s coached 28 NCAA Champions and more than 350 All-Americans.
After jump-starting his career with a pair of state titles in four years as a high school head coach at Columbus High School in Georgia, he began a long a fruitful collegiate coaching career in 1970 as a men’s assistant under 1995 USTFCCCA Hall of Fame Stan Huntsman.
During that 12-year stint in Knoxville, he and his athletes – including Olympian Willie Gault – contributed to a pair of national titles, three more national runner-up finishes and four more third-place finishes. The men won an NCAA outdoor title in 1974.
His Volunteer sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers combined for more than 100 All-America honors, 19 national event titles and a pair of world records in the men’s 4×200 relay and men’s shuttle hurdles relay.
Following the 1982 season, Maxwell made the move to Baton Rouge to helm the men’s and women’s LSU programs. His five year tenure with the Tigers included a third-place national finish at the 1985 NCAA Indoor Championships, a runner-up outdoor finish in 1986 and culminated in 1987 with an NCAA Indoor Championships crown – the program’s first-ever national title in women’s track & field and the start of an era of dominance for LSU.
While his stop at LSU was short it was also filled to the brim with accomplishments. Fueling the team success was an astounding 189 All-America honors earned under his leadership, including 26 NCAA champs.
Maxwell’s next stop was at Texas in 1991 as an assistant for the sprints, hurdles and jumps, where he remained until 1995. During that time, he coached 14 All-Americans.
In 1996 he made the move to Nebraska, his home of the last 21 years. His tenure started out with a bang as the Cornhusker men notched a program-best runner-up finish during that 1996 season, and he’s been producing many of the Big 12’s and then the Big Ten’s finest sprinters and hurdlers. During Nebraska’s time in the Big 12 his athletes claimed 25 conference titles, and they’ve picked up where they left off in the Big Ten with eight more since 2011.
Three Cornhuskers have won national titles under his watch, most recently Miles Ukaoma in the 400-meter hurdles in 2014. Those three headline the group of 42 All-Americans Maxwell has coached.