Master long sprint coach, Clyde Hart, wins coach of the year from USATF:
INDIANAPOLIS – Clyde Hart, who this year guided two of his athletes to world domination in 400-meter competition, on Monday was named the 2006 Nike Coach of the Year by USA Track & Field. He will receive his award Saturday evening at the 2006 Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in conjunction with the USATF Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.
Hart, who also won the Nike Coach of the Year Award in 2004, guided Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards to undefeated seasons outdoors in the 400 meters in 2006, including an American record for Richards and a sweep of the IAAF Golden League meets for both.
"When you have two great athletes like I have they keep me fired up, and it was a remarkable year," said Hart. "They both set personal bests in the 200 and 400 meters and both won the Golden League, and Sanya got the American record, and it couldn't have been any better from their standpoint. These kids are young, they work hard and I really enjoy working with them. I'm truly grateful to everyone at Nike and USA Track & Field for this tremendous honor."
Richards' winning run of 48.70 seconds at the IAAF World Cup in August crushed one of the oldest American records on the books, Valerie Brisco's time of 48.83 set at the 1984 Olympic Games. The record capped off a string of 15 consecutive wins for Richards, who ran under 50 seconds nine times, had the five fastest times in the world in 2006 and earned IAAF World Athlete of the Year honors.
As part of his flawless season in the one-lap race, Wariner three times ran under 44 seconds, becoming only the third man to do so. In running 43.62 seconds at the Rome Golden League meeting on July 14, Wariner posted the fastest 400m time since Michael Johnson's world record in 1999 to become the fourth-fastest performer ever in that event. He also ran 10 of the 12 fastest times in 2006.
Hart stepped down as Baylor University's head track coach on June 14, 2005 after 42 highly successful years at the helm, where his amazing group of winning 400m runners earned the school a world-wide reputation as "Quarter-Miler U." Hart, who is the director of track and field at Baylor, continues to mentor the school's 400m runners.
"Coach Hart's worldwide reputation as one of the world's finest long sprint coaches was greatly enhanced with the amazing performances of Jeremy and Sanya, who dominated the world this outdoor season," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "Coach Hart's contributions to the magnificent legacy of track and field in the U.S. are immeasurable and we all look forward to witnessing the future success of his talented athletes."
"I've known Coach Hart for 25 years and the success he's had is phenomenal," said John Capriotti, Global Sports Marketing Director for Nike. "With Jeremy and Sanya having such terrific seasons it goes to show you that he is the consummate professional, and he's very passionate at what he does. I congratulate him for winning this award again."