The late Bob Pollock led Clemson to 21 ACC Championships in his 20 years as head coach of the school’s men’s track & field program. He established department-wide Clemson coaching records for ACC titles (21), ACC Coach of the Year selections (19) and NCAA Regional Coach of the Year selections (16). He coached the men’s indoor track team to 11 top-20 finishes and the men’s outdoor program to 10 top-20 seasons. Seven of the indoor track national finishes were within the top ten.
During the 1988-89 season, Pollock’s first at Clemson, he led his teams to the “Triple Crown” of ACC titles. That year, the Tigers won the conference titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, a first in Clemson history.
Clemson finished eighth nationally indoors in 1990. Seven individuals were awarded All-America honors and the Clemson squad made national news by running a world-record time in the 4×800 meter relay to win the national championship in that event.
His 2004 squad won the ACC outdoor title with a conference record 224 points.
In 20 seasons under Pollock between 1988- 2008, Clemson won 11 indoor ACC titles, nine outdoor and one cross country title. His indoor teams won every ACC crown from 1989-93 and then again from 1997-2002. He led the Tigers to outdoor conference titles in each of his first three seasons. In cross country, Pollock’s 1988 team won the league championship and finished fourth at the NCAA national meet.
Pollock was named Indoor National Coach of the Year in 1992 after leading Clemson to a national runner-up team finish, the best in program history.
Pollock coached athletes who won 13 national champions during his time at Clemson. Travis Padgett was Clemson’s most recent NCAA champion under Pollock, claiming the 60 meters in 2007. He finished second in the nation at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 100 meters as well that year. Michael Green, Shawn Crawford and Ato Modibo all won multiple national championships under Pollock’s watch.
Pollock mentored athletes that won nearly 200 All-America honors during his tenure at Clemson, including recent Clemson two-sport athletes Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller, who ran for Pollock their first two years with the Clemson track program.
Former sprinters Crawford and James Trapp combined to earn 21 All-America certificates under Pollock’s direction. Clemson had at least one All-American in each of his 20 seasons.
Fourteen student-athletes from Pollock’s program went on to compete in the Olympic Games. Two of the athletes, Crawford and Carlton Chambers, won gold medals for their respective countries. Crawford won the 200 meters for the U.S. in the 2004 games, while Chambers was part of Canada’s gold medal winning 4×100 relay in Atlanta in 1996.
Success and conference titles were nothing new to Pollock when he came to Clemson. During 14 years as head track and cross country coach at Appalachian State University, Pollock led the Mountaineers to five Southern Conference outdoor titles, four indoor championships and one cross country title. His teams swept the Southern Conference indoor and outdoor meets in 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987.
The Rochester, N.Y., native began his coaching career at The Citadel, where Pollock served as head cross country and assistant track coach from 1972-74.
Pollock earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from The Citadel in 1971, and was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs as a distance runner. His senior year, he was voted the team MVP as well as team captain. He also earned a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Georgia in 1972.
Pollock passed away on February 18, 2010 at the age of 60. He was inducted posthumously into the Clemson Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
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