Holloway named head Track & Field coach

GAINESVILLE, Fla. * University of Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley announced on Tuesday that head men’s track & field coach Mike Holloway will take on the same role with the Gator women’s program and assume the title of head men’s and women’s track & field coach.

Holloway becomes the first track & field coach in school history to oversee both programs, and the ninth head coach of a Florida women’s track & field program that dates back to 1973. He will also oversee the UF cross country program, while Jeff Pigg remains the head coach for both men’s and women’s cross country.

Holloway, who was named Florida’s men’s track and field coach in June of 2002 after serving as an assistant at UF since 1995, is one of the premier sprint coaches in today’s track and field world and has developed Florida into one of the nation’s top sprint programs. He has coached athletes to 12 NCAA titles in the last nine years, and 14 school records in the indoor and outdoor events of 400 meters or less have been set under his watch.

Florida made the decision to combine the track and field programs after an examination revealed that 13 of the last 16 NCAA indoor and outdoor titles were won by combined programs. Holloway will join head swimming and diving coach Gregg Troy as members of the UF coaching staff that oversee combined programs.

“When we set out to find a coach to lead our women’s program, we knew that we already had a special candidate right here in Gainesville with Mike Holloway,” Foley said. “Mike has shown the ability to mentor world-class athletes on the men’s side, and we strongly believe he will do the same with our women’s program. We took a look at the situations of the other top track and field programs across the country and realized that combining our men and women’s programs gives us the best opportunity to be successful, especially under Mike’s direction.”

Holloway will take over a storied Florida women’s track and field program that owns a national championship and has posted a combined 24 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. The Gators have also captured nine indoor and outdoor Southeastern Conference championships in their 35-year history.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Holloway said. “The University of Florida has always been a special place for me and knowing that I now have the chance to use my abilities to guide the Florida women’s program is exciting. In the world of track and field, the position of being the head coach of both the men and women’s programs at the University of Florida ranks right up there with any job in the country. I’m looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

The Columbus, Ohio, native will succeed Tom Jones, who lost a battle with cancer in March.

In Holloway’s five years as head coach of the Gator men’s team, he has been the architect of seven NCAA individual and relay titles, four runner-up finishes at the NCAA Championships and two NCAA East Regional titles.

In 12 seasons on the Florida coaching staff, Holloway can claim the following:

§ Indoor 400m world record holder (Kerron Clement * 44.57)

§ Collegiate 400m hurdles record holder (Kerron Clement * 47.56)

§ Collegiate indoor 4x400m relay record holders (3:03.51)

§ No. 2 all-time American 4x100m relay (38.35)

§ No. 2 all-time 200m indoor and No. 3 outdoor collegian (John Capel * 20.26, 19.87)

§ No. 3 all-time 100m American collegian (Bernard Williams * 9.99)

§ No. 4 all-time collegiate shuttle hurdle relay (54.76)

§ No. 5 all-time collegian 110m hurdler (Josh Walker * 13.32)

§ No. 5 all-time collegian 400m hurdler (Rickey Harris * 48.16)

The list of accolades and accomplishments his athletes have earned at both the professional and collegiate levels continues to grow with each successive year. In 2005, he guided 19-year-old phenom Kerron Clement to a world record in the indoor 400m (44.57), as Michael Johnson’s 10-year-old record fell. Later in the year, Clement won the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships title in the 400m hurdles with the fastest time run in the event since 1998 (47.24) before he claimed his second straight U.S. 400m hurdle title in 2006. In 2004, four current or former Holloway coached athletes competed in the Olympics with former Gator Bernard Williams earning a silver medal in the 200m. In addition, Clement set a record in the 400m hurdles at the 2004 World Junior Championships, while nearly 15 athletes who have trained under Holloway participated at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

After Josh Walker’s sixth-place finish in the 110m hurdles at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Holloway reached a coaching milestone, having tutored an All-American in every sprint and hurdle event. In addition, Walker and Clement became the first tandem from the same school to sweep the NCAA 110m hurdle and 400m hurdle titles in the same season in 2004. And then they did it again in 2005.

After Holloway was named head coach of the Gator men’s track and field program following the 2002 season, Florida won the 2003 NCAA East Regional team title, finished second at the 2003 SEC Indoor Championships and was sixth at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships. For his efforts at the East Regional meet, Holloway was named the East Region Coach of the Year.

In 2004, Holloway coached UF to runner-up finishes at all five championship meets (NCAA indoors and outdoors, SEC indoors and outdoors and the NCAA East Regional).  His athletes claimed six SEC titles, three NCAA titles and earned 31 All-America honors. Things kept chugging right along in 2005 when the Gators duplicated their efforts from 2004 by taking second at all five championship meets. Florida racked up 27 All-America honors, four NCAA titles and seven SEC crowns. In 2006, Holloway mentored a pair of Gator freshmen in guiding them to monumental achievements. Indoors, Jeremy Hall (Jacksonville, Fla.) became the first freshman in more than 30 years to claim the SEC 60m title, while Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.) earned indoor All-America honors in the 400m before going on to achieve the same feat outdoors. He also became just the second athlete in school history to win the SEC outdoor 400m crown as a freshman.

Prior to being named head coach, Holloway left his mark as an assistant at UF. He added his first national title to his list of accomplishments in 1999. By the end of the 2000 season, he had added national titles in the 100m and 4x100m relay, events that Florida had never won in school history. In 2001, Holloway guided Harris to the NCAA indoor championship in the 200m with a time of 45.78, the third-fastest in the world during the season. The 2002 outdoor season saw Harris become the school’s first-ever national champion in the 400m hurdles, establishing himself as Holloway’s first double NCAA champion, and later finish second in the 400m dash to become the just the second male athlete in NCAA history to earn All-America honors in both events in the same year.

Perhaps Holloway’s crowning achievement was his squad’s performance at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships, where his athletes won two national titles and scored a school-record 42 points by themselves. The Gators’ 4x100m squad cruised to the fastest time ever by a collegiate squad that included a roster of only American citizens and earned the school’s first national championship in the event. Bernard Williams capped an astounding first season at the NCAA Division I level with Florida’s first 100 meter national title. Earlier in the year at the 2000 NCAA indoor meet, sophomore John Capel equaled the American and collegiate record of 20.26 in the 200 meters. He was the only collegian to break the 20-second barrier that year and finished with the second-fastest time in the world before eventually making the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team.

Also boasting international experience, Holloway served as the head coach of the U.S. team at the NACAC Under-23 Championships in 2004, as American athletes guided by Holloway combined to win 27 of the 40 events.

In addition to how his athletes fared at the 2004 Olympics, Capel won the gold medal in the 200m dash and was the leadoff leg of the gold-medal winning 4x100m relay team that also included former Gator Bernard Williams at the 2003 World Championships in Paris.

At the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, Holloway-coached prodigies won both semifinal heats of the 200m before Capel grabbed the victory in one of the most anticipated track match-ups in the preceding four years. Capel defeated world record holder Michael Johnson and “the fastest man in the world,” Maurice Greene, not only in the finals but also in the preceding semis to earn the top 200 spot on America’s team for the Sydney Olympic Games.

Holloway is married to the former Angela Fitts. They have a daughter, Michele, a son, Michael II “MJ” and granddaughter, Alana, who was born in August, 2006.

The Mike Holloway File

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Florida, 2000

Coaching Career: 1983-84- Assistant Track and Field Coach, Gainesville High School; 1986-87- Graduate Assistant Coach Women’s Track and Field, Florida; 1985-94- Head Track and Field Coach, Buchholz High School; 1995-2002, Associate Head Track and Field Coach, Florida; 2002-present, Head Coach, Florida

Team Accomplishments: Florida – 2004, 2003 NCAA East Regional Championship; 2004 SEC Indoor Championship Buchholz High School- eight Florida state team championships; 1995 back-to-back boys and girls team state championships; 14 regional, 19 county and 17 district titles.

Career Totals (head coach): UF: 12 National Champions; 23 All-Americans; 89 All-America Honors; Buchholz: 50 All-State individuals; 25 cross country individual All-State runners; 10 athletes went on to compete in collegiate track and field.

1996 Olympic Qualifiers: 1 (two competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials)

2000 Olympic Qualifiers: 1 (seven competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials)

2004 Olympic Qualifiers: 4 (10 competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials)

Top Athletes: John Capel (2005 World Championships 200m Bronze Medalist, 2003 200m, 4x100m Relay World Champion, 2000 Olympic 200m Finalist, 200m U.S. Olympic Trials Champion, 200m NCAA Champion, SEC Champion); Kerron Clement (Indoor 400m World Record Holder, 2006, 2005 400m Hurdles U.S. Champion, Two-Time 400m Hurdles NCAA Champion); Mark Everett (Three-Time U.S. Olympian); Jimmie Hackley (Four-Time SEC Champion); Rickey Harris (2002 400m Hurdles NCAA Champion, 2001 Indoor 400m NCAA Champion); Stephen Jones (110m Hurdles Barbados National Champion, IAAF World Championships Qualifier); Tyrone Kemp (Eight-Time All-American; Coached at Buchholz High School); Dennis Mitchell (Olympic Gold Medalist, Four-Time Olympic Medalist, Three-Time Olympian); Josh Walker (2005, 2004 110m Hurdles NCAA Champion); Bernard Williams (2004 200m Olympic Silver Medalist, 2003 4x100m Relay World Champion); 2005 Indoor NCAA Champion 4×400 relay team (Sekou Clarke, Bernard Middleton, Stefan Pastor, Kerron Clement); 2004 Outdoor NCAA Champion 4×100 relay team (Ahmad Jasmine, Mike Morrison, Kyle Farmer, Sekou Clarke); 2000 NCAA Champion 4×100 relay team (Daymon Carroll, Bernard Williams, Aaron Armstrong, Geno White);Women’s World Record Setting and National Champion 4×800 relay team (Sandra Braasch, Sonja Braasch, Chris Crowther, Susan Nash)