NEW ORLEANS, La. – Florida head coach Mike Holloway is the 2013 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Outdoor Men’s Coach of the Year, announced Thursday. This is Holloway’s fifth USTFCCCA National Men’s Coach of the Year nod, having won three consecutive indoors from 2010-12 and earning his second straight national honor outdoors.
In his 11th year as the Gators’ coach, Holloway guided Florida to their second straight NCAA outdoor track & field national team title. The Gators scored 53 points for the crown, tying Texas A&M for the title. Florida won the 4x400-meter relay, the concluding event, to reach the top of the final team standings. The Gators had been down to the Aggies by nine points before the finale.
Florida is the first team since 1978 (UTEP, UCLA) to share an NCAA outdoor title and Saturday was just the fourth time in NCAA history a tie occurred.
The Orange and Blue took home three individual NCAA titles courtesy of the men’s 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay and senior Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas), who won his third career NCAA title in the men’s triple jump and second straight outdoors. Craddock’s jump of 16.92m/55-6.25, a new personal best for him, is the third-best jump in the U.S. in 2013.
The Gator men’s 4x100-meter relay was first on the track on Championship Saturday and started things off right, capturing the fifth 4x1 NCAA outdoor crown in program history. The foursome of freshman Antwan Wright (Riviera Beach, Fla.), sophomore Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), senior Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and sophomore Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) got it done for the Gators, edging out runner-up Alabama by a hundredth of a second, 38.53 to 38.54. The time was the fifth-fastest 4x1 performance in the world this year.
Trailing Texas A&M by nine points heading into the final event, the Gators, with a lineup of Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.), Graham, Jr., Dukes and Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), claimed the 4x400-meter relay title (3:01.34) and the 10 points that came along with it. A&M – in the same race – dropped the baton but rebounded to finish eighth, giving them one point and putting them in a tie for the national title with the Gators. The time was the third-fastest 4x4 performance in the world in 2013 and Florida won its second straight title in the event.
The Gators also garnered three medal finishes on the men’s side with junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) turning in a runner-up performance in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, freshman Arman Hall becoming just the 13th freshman in NCAA history to finish third or better in the men’s 400 meters and senior Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.), who finished his Gator career with a third-place performance in the men’s hammer throw.
The last two days of the NCAA Outdoor Championships will air on Sunday, June 16 beginning at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU, directly following a replay of the Gator women’s gymnastics team capturing the 2013 NCAA Championship at 2 p.m. ET.