Feb. 4, 2010
WACO, Texas - Baylor's legendary track and field coach Clyde Hart added to his list of accolades when two of his current athletes, Olympic gold medalists Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards, were named the U.S. Men's and Women's Athletes of the Decade by Track and Field News.
Both Wariner, a former Baylor All-American, and Richards train under Hart's tutelage at Baylor's Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex. The honor also marks the first time that one coach has had both the men's and women's award winners for a decade. In 2009, Hart was named the IAAF World Coach of the Year, while Richards was named the IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year.
"They are certainly deserving of it, and It's a big honor for them," Hart said. "I am very proud for them, and I thinks its good for the program here at Baylor because they both train here. I talked to both of them after it was announced, and they were both thrilled."
Wariner, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 400 meters and 4x400-meter relay, was a four-time NCAA champion and six-time All-American from 2003-04 at Baylor. The Grand Prairie, Texas, native was the top-ranked 400-meter runner in the world from 2004-07, then won his third career gold medal in the 4x400-meter relay at the 2008 Olympics. Wariner was also an Olympic silver medalist in 2008 and a two-time World champion in the 400 meters during the decade.
Richards, the current World champion in the 400 meters, won two individual NCAA titles while at Texas and four U.S. titles from 2003-06. Richards the current No. 1-ranked runner in the world, has won the IAAF World Athletics Final at 400 meters five years in a row from 2005-09.
"When I look back at it, I can see what they did," Hart said. "Sanya has dominated the 400 over the decade with an American record in there. Jeremy was an Olympic champ and two-time world champion, and he was ranked no. 1 in the world for four years."
On the Track and Field News' World Athletes of the Decade, Richards checked in at No. 5 on the women's list, while Wariner was No. 6 on the men's.