With three NCAA and 10 Pac-10 Conference team titles in the bank, Jeanette Bolden has guided her alma mater – the UCLA women’s track & field program – to the top of the national stage. Having devoted 17 seasons at the helm of the Bruin team, Bolden has guided over 50 of UCLA’s sprinters, hurdlers, and relay runners to USTFCCCA All-America status, five of which have won individual national crowns.
With an NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship team title in 2004, Bolden was named the USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year. In that same year, Bolden’s squad won the Pac-10 Conference title for the 10th time under her guidance. The team’s NCAA Indoor Track & Field crowns in 2000 and 2001 were the first indoor team titles in UCLA history. Bolden’s Bruins placed in the nation’s top three at the NCAA Outdoor Championships ten times in a 12-year stretch from 1994 to 2005. Bolden also has a 73-2 dual-meet coaching record and had a team that was the nation’s best in dual meets for nine years.
Bolden has coached some of the best female quarter-miler sprinters and hurdlers of the past decade, including Monique Henderson, Sheena Johnson, and Nicole Leach. Henderson, a member of the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic gold medalist 4×400-meter relay teams, was the 2005 NCAA 400-meter champion and a nine-time All-American. Johnson, now Sheena Tosta, won Olympic silver in the 400 hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Games and was the fourth-place finisher in the same event at the Athens Games in 2004. Johnson won NCAA titles in the 400 hurdles in 2003 and 2004 and was a nine-time Pac-10 Champ. Leach, the 2007 and 2009 400-meter NCAA Champion, reached the semifinals of the 2007 IAAF World Championships in the same event and was on the U.S. junior 4×400 team that won gold at the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships.
Bolden, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team Coach, was twice an Olympian herself, becoming the first head coach in U.S. Olympic history to have won an Olympic medal as an athlete. At the 1984 Los Angeles games, Bolden won gold as a member of the American 4×100-meter squad and was a fourth-place finisher in the 100 meters. At UCLA, Bolden was a five-time All-American, and her 1986 run of 6.54 in the 60-yard dash still stands as the co-world record. In addition, Bolden holds all-time collegiate bests indoors in the 50 yards and 50 meters.
Bolden is executive director and coordinator of the Jeanette Bolden Asthma and Allergy Track Clinic and a member of the Board of Directors for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.