Thornton pleased with Men's Track and Field’s indoor results, awaits outdoor challenge
Maybe Caesar had to beware the "Ides of March," but it was a time to remember for Men's Track and Field coach Bubba Thornton.
His Longhorns enjoyed their highest finish ever in the NCAA Indoor Championships -- third place -- and their second-highest point total ever in the event -- 34 points (second to the 35 registered in the 2006 Indoors).
Thornton could bask in some individual glory as the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Track and Field selected the UT boss as head coach for Team USA's men's track and field team for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
"I'm humbled and honored to be a part of a very elite group of coaches to represent our country in the Olympics," Thornton said.
As if that wasn't grand enough, he also was recognized as the 2007 United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association South Region Indoor Coach of the Year.
The third place national Indoor finish marked the fifth straight top-10 finish in that meet by The University of Texas. The Horns have been in the top five in four of the last five NCAA Indoor events.
Thornton praised the work of his associate head coach Jason Vigilante and assistant coach Mario Sategna.
"To see how you compete against the best, to see that you are in the top 10 or the top five certainly pleases you," Thornton said. "We've had a nice run and it is great to be one of those programs finishing in the top five and the top 10 for several years running.
"I'm pleased with the indoor success."
Thornton, though, knows now the challenge to have his athletes round into form outdoors, looking down the road at Big 12 Outdoors in May and the NCAA Outdoors in June.
But first, the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
"Our team is solid," the coach said. "The Texas Relays will drive and motivate the team. We'll look at Trey Hardee, who is one of the greatest athletes and greatest people ever to attend this university.
"We'll see Jacob Hernandez, Leo (Leonel Manzano) and (Jake) Morse. We'll look to do well in the meet, to make the jumps, to make the qualifying marks to put our guys in position."