Throughout his career, Mike Holloway has stayed true to Gainesville, Florida.
Whether he was the assistant coach at Gainesville High School (1983-84), a graduate assistant with the Florida women’s team (1986-87), the head coach of Buchholz High School (1985-1995) or back with the Gators since then, Holloway never dallied in his desire to build local programs to national powerhouses.
Ever since he took over as the head coach of the men’s track & field programs at the University of Florida in 2003 and added the title of women’s head coach in 2008, the Gators have thrived with Holloway at the helm.
In the first three years with Holloway as coach, the Florida men placed second at the NCAA Division I Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships four times. That’s six total meets and outside of a sixth- and 18th-place finish in 2003, the Gators were knocking on the door of history.
Well, five years later Florida — most importantly, Holloway — kicked it in.
Holloway became the first black coach to guide a NCAA DI men’s track & field championship team when the Gators won the 2010 indoor title. That same meet, the women placed fourth, their best finish since Holloway took over the program in 2008.
Over the next three years, the Florida men continued their dominance as they won the 2011 indoor title, swept the 2012 indoor-outdoor slate and added the 2013 outdoor titles to the collection soon after.
The next championship for the men wouldn’t come until 2016, but it served as sweet redemption for Holloway and the Gators. Florida had placed sixth at the SEC Outdoor Championships, leaving many to think they were well out of the title hunt.
Since Holloway took over in 2003, the Gator men have placed second or better in 17 of the 28 NCAA Championship meets.
All told, Holloway has coached 373 All-American men (169 indoor, 204 outdoor) and 230 All-American women (96 indoor, 134 outdoor). Of those, 39 men won individual and/or been part of a relay championship, compared to 13 women since 2008.
On a global scale, five Holloway-coached athletes combined to win nine Olympic medals: Will Claye (2), Tony McQuay (1), Dennis Mitchell (3), Christian Taylor (1) and Bernard Williams (2). Mitchell (4×100), Taylor (triple jump) and Bernard Williams (4×100) all won gold in their respective events. Holloway also served as the sprints and relays coach on the 2012 Olympic team and head coach for the 2013 IAAF World Championship team.
Holloway is the second active coach in as many years to be inducted into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame. Nebraska’s Billy Maxwell was part of the Class of 2015.