Thornton named Big 12 Men's Track and Field Coach of the Year
IRVING, Texas -- Just one week shy of his birthday, Texas head coach Bubba Thornton felt winning the Big 12 indoor conference championship on Saturday was enough of a gift for this season.
Thornton's Big 12 coaching peers felt differently because they voted the UT men's head coach as the 2008 Indoor Men's Track and Field Coach of the Year, announced on Tuesday, March 4 by the conference office.
Thornton, who stands as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Head Men's Track and Field Coach, helped the Longhorns capture their third consecutive Big 12 indoor title on Saturday, March 1 at the Devaney Indoor Track Center in Lincoln, Neb. Texas used a total team effort to beat host-school Nebraska, 106-104. Four Longhorns netted individual conference championships, and UT grabbed the distance-medley relay crown in a record-breaking win. Texas picked up its fourth overall indoor league title in becoming just the second school in conference history to win three in a row.
In his 13th season on the Forty Acres, Thornton has transformed the Longhorns' program into a national powerhouse. The Longhorns have logged 13 top-10 NCAA finishes (seven indoor, six outdoor) and nine conference titles (four Big 12 indoor, four Big 12 outdoor and one Southwest Conference outdoor). Most recently, Thornton led UT to back-to-back NCAA Indoor top-four finishes for the first time ever (2006 and 2007) including a program-high third-place in 2007.
Thornton, who has garnered Big 12 Coach of the Year honors on seven occasions, has produced 69 All-Americans (indoor and outdoor), and his athletes hold 15 of the 19 indoor school records and 11 of the 21 modern outdoor records. The Horns have produced 14 NCAA individual champions and 74 athletes who have combined to secure 113 All-America honors during his tenure on the Forty Acres.
Thornton leads the Longhorns into the final stretch of the indoor campaign. UT returns to the track on Friday, March 7 for the 2008 Arkansas Last Chance Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. Texas returns to UA the following weekend for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship from Friday-Saturday, March 14-15.