Todd Harbour enters his ninth season as Baylor's head track and field coach. He has served in that capacity for the cross country team for the last 14 years. Director of Athletics Ian McCaw named Harbour as Clyde Hart's successor June 14, 2005, after he had served as Baylor's head cross country coach and assistant track coach since January 2000.
Harbour continues to build Baylor's cross country and track and field teams into one of the nation's most successful and prominent programs. Under his watch, Baylor has posted 16 top-20 finishes nationally since he took over both programs in 2005-06, including six top-10 finishes.
In track and field, the women have five top-20 finishes at nationals, while the men have been top-20 nine times.
In cross country, Harbour's women's teams have excelled, earning seven-straight berths into the NCAA Championships from 2003-09. The streak was the sixth longest-active run at the time, and included three top-25 finishes.
The team success has been built around a multitude of athletes who have succeeded individually. In his eight full seasons as head coach, Harbour's student-athletes have won seven individual NCAA titles, earned 164 All-America certificates and claimed 51 individual Big 12 titles, putting them consistently among the nation's elite.
Last season on the track, a young Baylor squad added another top-25 national finish as the women's team placed 25th at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, while collectively the men and women had seven All-American honorees. Prior to that event, Harbour guided BU athletes to six individual conference titles at the Big 12 Indoor Championships as both the men and women took fourth. During the outdoor season, Baylor's women tallied the highest finish at the league meet under Harbour and the best since 1999 by taking third. At the national meet, seven student-athletes garnered All-American accolades.
Personally, Harbour's middle distance crew had a breakout year as Mariah Kelly won the 2013 Big 12 Indoor 1,000-meter title and freshman Olicia Williams clocked the second-fastest time in school history at the 800-meter distance. In cross country, Harbour's women's team placed fifth at the 2013 conference meet, but he directed Rachel Johnson to All-Big 12 honors. Johnson went on to capture All-Region honors as well, earning a spot in the NCAA Championship field.
The 2012 track and field season featured another top-20 indoor finish for Harbour's women's squad. That team got All-American performances from Tiffani McReynolds, Erin Atkinson, Jessica Ubanyionwu and Skylar White to finish 16th at the national meet. BU's men received All-American nods at the indoor event with Patrick Schoenball finishing fifth in the 800-meters and the 4X400-meter relay team earning a seventh-place finish. During the outdoor season, White again scored All-American status in the shot put, while the 4X100-meter relay team led the way for the men with a fifth-place showing. In cross country, Harbour coached Johnson to an All-Big 12 performance with an eighth-place finish at the conference meet.
The 2011 track and field season showed that Baylor continued to put itself in a prominent place nationally with top-20 finishes on both sides at the NCAA Indoor meet. A silver medal in the 60-meter hurdles from freshman McReynolds and two All-America performances by Tiffany Townsend bolstered a 10th-place finish for the women. Meanwhile, the Baylor men earned a silver medal in the 4x400-meter relay to help place 16th overall as a squad. Outdoors, Townsend again highlighted the action with two more All-America performances in the sprints, giving her a school record 17 over her outstanding career. During the 2011 cross country season, Johnson earned All-Region honors with a 19th-place finish.
While the 2010 cross country season didn't feature a team trip to the NCAA Championships for the first time in seven seasons for the Baylor women, Robyn Bennett and Kate Westenhover each earned all-region honors and individual spots in the NCAA Championships. Katie Shaw added all-region honors for the women, while Robbie Knorr earned All-Region on the men's side.
In 2010, Baylor's track teams battled through a multitude of injuries, but under Harbour's leadership the depth of the team became a bright spot. The Bears managed 70 combined All-Big 12 honors at the indoor and outdoor conference championships, while totaling 15 All-America honors. The men's indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relay teams each earned All-America honors, while the indoor team finished as the nation's runner-up. Baylor claimed Big 12 individual titles in the indoor men's distance medley relay, the indoor 800 meters by James Gilreath and the outdoor men's 4x100-meter relay. With the success of Baylor's relay teams at the Drake Relays and Texas Relays, the Bears earned the overall relay title by Track and Field News. During the season, Baylor student-athletes broke school records 13 times, with White breaking the indoor and outdoor shot put record seven times.
On the track in 2009, the Baylor men's 4x400-meter relay team continued a streak of 42 consecutive victories through the NCAA Indoor Championships until a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Sprinter Trey Harts, a leg of the 4x400 relay, also earned an individual championship indoors in the 200 meters. Harbour's crew of men in the 4x400-meter relay helped put together an astounding streak of 42 consecutive meet victories, which included five consecutive NCAA titles (2007 indoor/outdoor, 2008 indoor/outdoor, 2009 indoor).
During the 2008 season, Baylor's men won the indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relay titles to make NCAA history for the second season in a row. After winning both titles in 2007, the Bears did it again in 2008, marking the fifth time in school history and 11th time ever.
In 2007, Baylor captured two national titles, winning the indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relays. The relay squad set a new Baylor record of 3:00.04, the fourth-fastest time in NCAA history. The relay broke the 12-year old record of 3:00.60.
Baylor also made history at the 2007 Drake Relays, winning all four sprint relays (4x100-meter, 4x200-meter, 4x400-meter, and sprint medley), becoming the first school to accomplish the feat in 63 years.
The Bears also had solid individual showings at the 2007 NCAA meets, as Reggie Witherspoon (200 meter) and LeJerald Betters (400 meters) each earned All-America honors indoors and outdoors. Nichole Jones (800 meters) earned All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to become Baylor's first-ever All-American in the women's outdoor 800 meters. In addition to the men's 4x400-meter relay, Baylor also earned eight other All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships, including the women's distance medley relay.
For the year, Baylor athletes set or tied 12 school records, including two each for Kaleigh Teel and Chris Cardwell. Jones and Lauren Hagans combined to break the outdoor 800-meter record three times during the season, while the women's 4x800-meter relay shattered the previous program-best by 13 seconds.
Baylor didn't miss a beat in Harbour's first season at the helm in 2006, capturing one national title, 10 All-America honors and 12 Big 12 Conference titles--seven individual and five relay. The Bears also established new school records in 12 events.
Jacob Norman became the first national champion under Harbour, blazing to the indoor 60-meter crown with a school record time of 6.56. Witherspoon was a two-time All-American and was named the 2006 Big 12 Indoor Male Athlete of the Year. He won conference crowns in the indoor 200 meters, both the indoor and outdoor 400-meter titles, the indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relays and the 4x100-meter relay. Erin Bedell (3,000 meters) and Kevin Mutai (600 yards) also captured indoor conference titles. The Bears continued their success during the outdoor season as Chris Gillis earned All-America honors and won the Big 12 title in the long jump, and both the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays earned All-America honors and won Big 12 titles. Angel Perkins also earned All-America honors in the 400 meters.
Harbour has only strengthened a solid corps of women's middle distance runners. The distance medley relay earned All-America honors with a fifth-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships and blew away both the indoor and outdoor school records. Lauren Hagans broke her own record in the indoor 1,000 meters and earned All-Big 12 honors in the 800 meters. Erin Bedell came within an eyelash of adding the Big 12 outdoor 1,500-meter title to her standout freshman season, while Ruth Waller also earned All-Big 12 honors in the event. A trio of Bears - Lyndsy Bedell, Monique Ortega and Charity Williams - earned All-Big 12 honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Ortega went on to earn All-Region honors and qualify for the NCAA Championships.
During his six years as an assistant, Harbour's middle distance and distance runners re-wrote the record books. His student-athletes broke eight individual school records, seven relay marks en route to 18 All-America certificates and nine Big 12 individual titles.
In his first season, Harbour watched Floyd Thompson set a blistering school record of 1:07.43 in the indoor 600 yards. Thompson went on to anchor the 4x800 relay team with Damian Davis, Jonathan Pike and Jon Capron to break a 24-year-old record (7:17.55) at the Drake Relays, as well as contribute to a 4x400 team would later win a national outdoor title.
Another record fell in 2001 as the team of Nick Devenport, Michael Smith, Davis and Ferenc Bekesi broke the school indoor distance medley relay record. Thompson went on to win the Big 12 title in the 800 meters outdoors, finished fifth at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., and ran on another 4x400-meter national championship team. The Baylor men's team would placed third overall, tying the best finish ever.
The 2002 season would add more success in the middle and distance events as Lanie Millar, a walk-on, won the Big 12 800-meter title while establishing a new school record (2:06.34). During the outdoor season, Millar also set the outdoor school record (2:06.08) in the 800 meters. Debbie Thornhill brought home a Big 12 title in the 10,000 meters and two more distance relay records would be set as the men's team of Bekesi, Capron, King and Matt Chance established a new 4x1,500 record (15:34.74) at Texas Relays. The women's team of Chance, Thornhill, Bennett, and Millar would set a new school record in the 4 x Mile (20:18.55) at Drake Relays.
In 2003, Wil Fitts made his mark his sophomore year by winning the Big 12 indoor title in the 600 yards, while the team of Devenport, Lewis, King, and Robert Quiroga won the distance medley relay title. Kyle King also established a new school record in the 5,000 meters (13:57.22). During the outdoor season, Angela Marvin set a new school record in the steeplechase en route to winning the Big 12 title as a freshman. Later that summer, she claimed the United States junior title for the 2,000-meter steeplechase, while adding a new American junior record to her resume. Thornhill also successfully defend her Big 12 10,000-meter title, while earning All-America honors at the NCAA Championships in Sacramento, Calif., with an eighth-place finish.
King used the 2004 season to establish himself as one of the all-time best distance runners in Baylor history. He became the first Baylor runner since 1981 to earn All-America honors in an event over 800 meters, with his fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Austin. He also had an outstanding indoor campaign, as he earned his first All-America honor in the 5,000 meters. At the Big 12 Indoor Championships, King teamed with Quiroga, Korey Wright and Bo Price to win a second straight DMR title. Fitts also continued his success in his junior season as he would establish a new indoor school record in the 800 meters (1:48.82). As a part of the outdoor 4x400-meter relay team, Fitts also earned his first national championship ring.
In 2005, after automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships at the Stanford Invitational, Brittany Brockman later earned her first All-America honor in Sacramento in the 10,000 meters, while Fitts earned All-America honors in the 800 meters. During the indoor season, freshman Hagans established a new school record in the 1,000 meters (2:53.05) and teamed with Angel Perkins, Ortega and Jessa Chance to set a new school record in the distance medley relay.
One of Baylor's most legendary track athletes, Harbour holds the school mark in the 1,500 meters and the mile run. His 3:50.34 run at Oslo, Norway, his senior year, is still the fastest mile ever run by a collegiate athlete. He was inducted into the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.
During his collegiate days, Harbour was the Southwest Conference champion in the 1,500 meters in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981. He claimed the NCAA 1,500-meter runner-up title in 1979, 1980 and 1981, the only athlete to ever win three consecutive runner-up titles in that event. Harbour won the silver medal at the Pan Am Games in 1979 and was ranked ninth in the world in the 1,500-meters in 1982.
After graduating from Baylor, Harbour ran professionally for Nike and was one of the world's top milers. After the 1985 season, Harbour headed to Riesel, Texas, where he found another profession that would eventually lead him back to Baylor. Harbour began teaching history at Class 2A Riesel High School, then found himself coaching the varsity track and field teams. From there, he became involved with the varsity football program and eventually ended up as the head football coach and athletic director.
His success at Riesel included numerous district and regional championships in football and track and field. His track and field teams claimed district championships from 1987-90 and 1993-97 and produced regional championships in 1988, 1989 and 1994. Harbour coached eight individual state champions in track and field and led his cross country teams to a regional championship and two state runner-up positions. Harbour was the 1995-96 chairman of the track advisory committee for the Texas High School Coaches Association.
Harbour's varsity football teams compiled a 51-24-4 record and advanced to the bi-district playoffs four times and the area playoffs once in his six years at the helm. Those accomplishments earned him District 16A Coach of the Year, Central Texas Coach of the Year, District 14A Coach of the Year and Lay Witness for Christ Ministry Coach of the Year honors.
Harbour, a 2004 inductee into the Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame, and his wife, Cindy, have three children: Jonathan (30), Stephen (28) and Aaron (24).