A successful coach at the high school, collegiate, and international levels, Jimmy Carnes compiled a 161-11 career dual meet record, highlighted by four conference championships and six state crowns.
Carnes began his collegiate track & field career as a talented middle distance runner at Mercer University in the 1950s, graduating in 1956. His first coaching job was as head coach at Druid Hills High School from 1956-62, where his teams went undefeated in dual meets and captured six state titles.
In 1962, Carnes accepted the head coaching job at Furman University where his teams won both the Southern Conference Indoor and Outdoor titles. Two years later, Carnes accepted the same position at the University of Florida, where he coached from 1964-76. Carnes’s teams won two SEC championships during his tenure and went 93-3 overall in dual meets.
Carnes’s contributions at the international level were numerous. From 1979-84, he served as president of the U.S. Track & Field Federation, and he served as the U.S. Olympic Track & Field men’s team assistant coach (1976) and men’s team head coach (1980). Since 1979, Carnes has served on the Board of Directors of the International Special Olympics.
Carnes is a six-time Georgia Coach of the Year and a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.