Baylor Director of Track and Field Clyde Hart, famed coach of 12 Olympic gold medal-winning performances, will receive the annual Legend Coach Award on June 24 during the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships at Sacramento State University.
Known as a master coach in the 400-meters, Hart prepared promising U.S. athletes to claim five world records and 16 Olympic medals while also coaching at Baylor University – most notably Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner, Sanya Richards-Ross and Darold Williamson. For six consecutive Olympic Games starting in 1992 Barcelona, Hart boasted at least one gold medalist.
Hart will be recognized at an award ceremony on Saturday, June 24 at 12:50 p.m. PT in Hornet Stadium as part of USATF Outdoor Championships. Hart’s protégés Sanya Richards-Ross and Michael Johnson are expected to be in attendance.
Born on February 3, 1934 in Eudora, Arkansas, Hart was a five-time state cross country and track & field championships winner in high school. He graduated from Baylor University in 1956 and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from University of Arkansas in 1962, one year before returning to Baylor as Head Track & Field Coach.
Hart coached for 42 years before transitioning to director of track and field in 2005. During his coaching tenure, Hart led the Bears to produce 34 national champions and 258 All-American track athletes, totaling 555 All-American awards. Among his many accolades as the longest-serving coach in Baylor history, Hart was named NCAA National Indoor Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1996, as well as USATF Nike Coach of the Year in 1996 and 2004. IAAF proclaimed Hart the 2009 International Coach of the Year.
In 2014, Baylor University renamed its $18.1 million facility the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium.
Hart began his Olympic journey with USATF Hall of Famer Michael Johnson, seeing his protégé through four Olympic gold medals, three Olympic records, five World records and countless more achievements until Johnson’s retirement in 2008. He continued his Olympic legacy with Sanya Richards-Ross, coaching the 400m American record holder to 3 Olympic gold medals, 1 bronze medal and 6 World Championship titles.
In total, Hart coached nine Olympians to 16 Olympic medals - 12 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze. He also represented Team USA as an assistant men’s coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
As a result of his numerous contributions to the sport, Hart is a member of several notable Halls of Fames including Arkansas Sports, USTFCCCA Coaches, Texas Sports and the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame.
Hart is married to Maxine Burton Hart, a professor emeritus of Information Systems at Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University. The couple has two sons and three grandchildren.
The USATF Legend Coach Award is in its fourth year. The inaugural award was presented to Hall of Fame Tigerbelle Coach Ed Temple in 2014, followed by Dr. Joe Vigil in 2015 and Tom Tellez in 2016.