March 7, 2013
By Mallory Majcher, Texas Media Relations
Current Texas senior Marquise Goodwin has become one of the most notable two-sport athletes in school history, playing both football and participating in track and field. Goodwin, a two-time NCAA champion and Olympic long jumper, has created a buzz among the Longhorn community for his dual athletic success.
Before Goodwin was even born, however, another Longhorn took the stage, setting the precedent for two-sport athletes.
Eric Metcalf patrolled the Forty Acres from 1985-88 as a track and field and football star. Metcalf is still the UT record holder for the outdoor long jump with a mark of 27-8 1/4 and, like Goodwin, was a two-time NCAA champion in the event.
A four-time track All-American, Metcalf also excelled in football, making his mark in the UT record book. He holds the single-game record for receptions (12), as well as single-season receptions (42) and career receptions (142) by a running back. He also holds the record for career punt return yards (1,076) and is still fourth in career all-purpose yards (5,705)
Despite all that success, balancing competing in two sports can be a challenge.
"When you leave football and go in to track, it becomes harder with school work," said Metcalf of his demanding schedule as a student-athlete. "I traveled more and was on the road four or five days at a time. That was definitely the biggest challenge."
Since leaving the NFL in 2002, Metcalf has spent much of his time involved in track and field, imparting some of his wisdom on the next generation.
Through the years, Metcalf has always tried to ensure others live up to their potential both on and off the field. His goals are to translate the lessons learned through athletics to real-life situations.
"I just want to make sure that when someone comes to me, they walk out better than they came," said Metcalf. "My main focus is to make kids better, whether that be on the track or field or off."
Recently, he was nominated to coach the 2013 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Lima, Peru. The Pan-Am Championships are a biennial competition for track and field athletes who are 19 years of age or younger and hail from North and South America. The United States has won the games three times, including the last competition in 2011 in Miramar, Fla.
"It is such an honor," said Metcalf of his nomination. "You are representing your country when you coach these kids--they are the best junior athletes in the world."
In 1989, Metcalf was a first-round NFL draft pick by the Cleveland Browns. He played in the NFL for 13 seasons and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. His 12 career punt and kickoff returns for touchdowns still rank third in NFL history and, at the time of his retirement, was in the top 10 in career all-purpose yards (17,230).
But track and field remained an important part of his life.
During the offseason of his football career, Metcalf returned home to Seattle, Wash., where he established the Seatown Express Track Club in 1999. It began as an all boys, high school track club to get athletes interested in track and encourage them to pursue the sport as an avenue to obtain a college scholarship.
"If [the athletes] took care of their grades and were serious about track, I could help them by utilizing my connections with college track programs as well as helping them compete to the best of their abilities," said Metcalf.
Aside from the Seatown Express, Metcalf has enhanced his coaching resume with experience coaching football and track at Rainer Beach High School in Seattle, as well as serving as a volunteer assistant coach at University of Washington where he aids in the horizontal jumps.
Metcalf had continued developing his track club and has now opened it to female athletes as well as junior high track hopefuls.
"We now start with younger boys and girls, but they have to be serious about the sport and really want to compete," said Metcalf.