Hoover Wright headed the Prairie View A&M University track & field and cross country programs for over 40 years.
Wright’s coaching career began at Shorter College in North Little Rock, Arkansas, where he served as head football coach, men’s and women’s basketball coach and track coach. From there he moved to Paul Quinn College, serving as department head of Health and Physical Education, athletics director and head football coach before taking over as head track & field coach at Prairie View A&M.
Wright’s steady direction guided the program to two National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Indoor titles, one NAIA Outdoor title, five Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) crowns, and the 1970 United States Track & field Association National Title. Among countless distinguished coaching honors, Wright was named SWAC Coach of the Year as well as NAIA Coach of the Year. His accomplished pupils include Olympic Gold Medalist Fred Newhouse.
Although best known for his achievements as a track coach, Wright also served as Prairie View’s Athletic Director and head football coach, leading the Panthers to their last winning record (6-5) in 1976. Wright coached the football team from 1966-68 and 1973-79.
He also served with distinction on USA team staffs as an assistant coach for the 1975 Pan American Games, the 1971 U.S. vs. Soviet Union Meet, and the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. He also was the head coach for the U.S. Junior Team in a triangular meet with Cuba and Canada in 1987.
Wright’s honors include being inducted in Prairie View’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, and induction into the NAIA Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1976. He was inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame in 1994.