Named for two legendary Baylor track coaches, Jack Patterson and Clyde Hart, the entire facility enjoyed a complete makeover, resulting in one of the country's premiere places to run, jump and throw. In 2005, Hart and Patterson were honored with permanent statues at the complex.
The entire facility's competition areas were resurfaced with a Balsam Rekortan in 1993 and again in 2005. In 1998, one of college track's finest scoreboards was added in addition to a hammer throw area, expanded and upgraded stands, newly-paved parking lots, new restrooms, storage rooms, and an entry gate with ticket booths. The entire complex also received new landscaping.
In all, well over $1 million has been spent in honor of the late Jack Patterson, who coached the Bears to three Southwest Conference titles and has a lengthy tenure as Baylor's athletic director, and Hart, who is in his 44th year at the Baylor, was named United States Olympic Committee Elite coach-of-the-year in 1996, and was named an assistant coach for the USA Men's Olympic Team for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
After the Baylor thinclads spent many years at old Municipal Stadium on Dutton Street, they opened a new facility in 1960 known simply as Baylor Track Stadium. When it first opened, it featured a Red Dog Cinder/clay surface which was financed by donations from ex-lettermen. In 1976, Baylor, the City of Waco and the Waco Independent School District teamed up to finance a $200,000 state-of-the-art Chevron 440 rubberized surface which replaced the old track, giving Baylor one of the fastest surfaces in the world. That same year, lights were added for the first time.
In 1988, a new Spartan surface was installed by the Balsam Company, the same company that installed Floyd Casey Stadium's All-Pro football surface. Also added were a steeplechase water jump and an extended javelin throwing area. The high jump approach and long jump/pole vault runways were also extended and resurfaced.
The next year, new aluminum bleachers were added. Much of the renovation costs were paid for by a $150,000 grant from the Cooper Foundation of Waco. In 1993, the Baylor-Waco Foundation paid for the latest Rekoratan surface.
The 440-yard oval surface was the site of the 1960, 1976, 1980, and 1989 Southwest Conference meets.
Since 1974, the Bears have annually hosted the Baylor/Dr. Pepper Invitational, one of the southwest's premiere meets. The stadium has also hosted such events as the TAPPS state championships, UIL regional championships, the Special Olympics, the Michael Johnson Open, the State Games of Texas, the Waco City Championships and the Athletes in Action summer youth track ministry program.
Throughout its history, some of the world's most elite track and field athletes have competed at the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex. The list includes Olympic gold medalists Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner, Darold Williamson, Randy Matson, Charles Austin, Leroy Burrell, Louise Ritter, Mike Conley, Carl Lewis, Carlette Guidry, Mike Stulce, Randy Barnes, Joe DeLoach, Johnny "Lam" Jones, Jason Rouser, Christie Gaines and Kevin Robinzine.
The Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex is located just off Valley Mills Drive, between Dutton and Clay Streets, next door to Floyd Casey Stadium.
From the north, drive south on I-35, take Valley Mills Drive exit to west. Stadium is approximately one mile on right. Follow directions into stadium lots.
From the south, drive north on 1-35, take Valley Mills Drive exit to west. Stadium is approximately one mile on right. Follow directions into stadium lots.
From the west, drive east on Hwy. 84 to Franklin/Waco Dr. split. Take Franklin to the right, go to 32nd street, turn right and go past Hart-Patterson Track & Field complex into stadium lots.
From the east, take Hwy. 84 to I-35. Turn south on I-35 (left) and follow directions listed above.
From northwest, take Hwy. 6 to Hwy 84, then follow directions listed above.
From southeast, take Hwy. 6 to Bus. 77. Turn left and take Bus. 77 to University Parks Dr. Turn right on University Parks to I-35. Go under and take I-35 south, then follow directions listed above.