Legendary Baylor track and field coach Clyde Hart, BBA ’56, has seen his athletes win a lot of honors during his nearly 50 years in coaching: 34 NCAA championships, 533 All-America honors, and countless conference titles. But perhaps his most impressive feat has come not in Waco, but on tracks around the world.
Hart’s pupils have now won gold in each of the last six Olympic Games, including 2012.
The streak has been carried most prominently by Michael Johnson, BBA ’91, in 1992, 1996 and 2000; Baylor alum Jeremy Wariner in 2004 and 2008; and former UT star Sanya Richards-Ross (who selected Hart as her personal coach four years ago) in 2008 and 2012. Here’s Hart’s complete Olympic resume:
- 1992, Michael Johnson, gold, 4x400m relay
- 1996, Michael Johnson, gold, 200m
- 1996, Michael Johnson, gold, 400m
- 2000*, Michael Johnson, gold, 400m
- 2004, Jeremy Wariner, gold, 400m
- 2004, Jeremy Wariner, gold, 4x400m relay
- 2004, Darold Williamson, gold, 4x400m relay
- 2008, Jeremy Wariner, gold, 4x400m relay
- 2008, Reggie Witherspoon, gold, 4x400m relay
- 2008, Jeremy Wariner, silver, 400m
- 2008, Sanya Richards-Ross, gold, 4x400m relay
- 2008, Sanya Richards-Ross, bronze, 400m
- 2012, Sanya Richards-Ross, gold, 400m
* Johnson also won gold in the 4×400-meter relay in 2000, but the team was disqualified after a teammate admitted to doping.
Richards-Ross has one more event, the women’s 4×400-meter relay, left in the London Olympics; round one will take place Friday night, followed by the final on Saturday. Wariner also qualified for the 2012 Olympics as part of the 4×400-meter relay pool, but a torn hamstring suffered just this week will deny him a chance at his third straight gold. (And of course, there’s always the question: What if Robert Griffin III had pursued track instead of football?)
All told, Hart’s pupils have won 11 Olympic gold medals, one silver and one bronze. Hart retired as head of the Baylor track program in 2005 but remains involved as director of track and field/400 meters.
Sic ’em, Coach Hart!
(The image of Hart above is from this commercial for BP, featuring Hart and Richards-Ross.)
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* Pair of Hart pupils named U.S. track and field athletes of the decade (Feb. 2010)
* Hart named World Coach of the Year by IAAF (Jan. 2010)