Clyde Hart, USTFCCCA Class of 2001
After 42 years as Baylor University’s head track & field coach, Clyde Hart retired from the position in 2005 to become Baylor’s director of track & field. Hart’s four-plus decades of leadership have seen Baylor track & field reach monumental heights while earning a world-wide reputation as “Quarter-Miler U.”
Hart, a 1956 graduate of Baylor, has been head coach longer than any other head coach in school history. His pupils have captured the last three Olympic Gold Medals in the 400m with Jeremy Wariner winning the event in 2004 and Michael Johnson capturing Olympic gold in 1996 and 2000. All-told, Hart has coached six Olympians who have won a total of eight Olympic Gold Medals and one bronze with Johnson claiming five Gold Medals, Wariner two, and Darold Williamson one.
From the time he took over the program from his mentor, USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Jack Patterson, in 1964 through the 2005 season, Hart has coached 29 national champions (14 individuals and 15 relays) and 475 All America performances – 357 men’s All America honorees (123 individuals and 234 relays) and 118 women’s All Americans (45 individuals and 73 relays). His men’s 4x400m relay teams have earned outdoor All America status for 26 consecutive years and captured 14 NCAA titles. All-told, Hart’s teams have turned in ten world-record performances (nine individual and one relay) and nine NCAA record efforts.
In 2007, Hart’s charges won both the indoor and outdoor NCAA titles in the 4x400m relay, the fourth time in Baylor history and the tenth time in collegiate history that that feat was accomplished.
Those accomplishments are just a few in a long list by Hart, a coach widely regarded as one of the best in the country. Hart served as President of the track coaches association from 1989-91. He has also served as an assistant coach on the U.S. 2000 Olympic Team and has earned the U.S. Olympic Committee’s National Track & Field Coach of the Year award three times in his career.
Hart is a two-time (1989 and 1996) NCAA national indoor coach of the year (1989 and 1996), four-time Southwest Conference indoor coach of the year (1981, 1984, 1989, and 1996), and one-time Big 12 coach of the year (2005) honoree.
Selected as USA Track & Field’s 2004 and 2006 Nike Coach of the Year, Hart is a member of the Baylor Wall of Honor, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, and the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, given by the Baylor Alumni Association, and the Distinguished Achievement Award presented by Baylor University. A university building has also been named in his honor. Today, the men’s and women’s track teams compete at The Hart-Patterson Track & Field Complex.