Kearney to be inducted into U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame
METAIRIE, La. -- University of Texas women's track and field and cross country coach Beverly Kearney is among eight coaching legends in the Class of 2007 being inducted into the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by the national organization on Monday, Aug. 13.
The Class of 2007 will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Phoenix, Ariz., and consists of Lew Hartzog (Southern Illinois), Cyrus Jones (Lincoln), Tom Jones (Florida), Kearney, John Mitchell (Georgia), Irv Mondschein (Pennsylvania), Jim Sackett (Cal Poly Pomona) and Karl Schlademan (Michigan State).
For the second consecutive year, a Longhorn is included in the induction class for the track coaches association. Texas Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006, for his success in track and field as a coach at Kansas State.
Kearney enters her 16th season at the helm of the UT program this fall. Kearney has seven NCAA national championships -- six with the Longhorns program -- and 19 conference titles on her resume. Most recently, the 2006 USTFCCCA National Women's Indoor Coach of the Year won back-to-back NCAA titles as the Longhorns claimed the 2005 NCAA outdoor championship and the 2006 indoor crown.
Kearney has coached 14 individual NCAA champions, including Texas exes Sanya Richards, Marshevet Hooker, Suziann Reid, Michelle Carter and Erin Aldrich, along with current Longhorns high jumper Destinee Hooker. Fifteen of her relay teams have won NCAA titles.
Kearney's steady climb to the top of the coaching world began in 1981 when she was completing her master's degree at Indiana State. Kearney served as a graduate assistant for the Sycamores, guiding several athletes to the NCAA Championships and to All-America honors before earning her master's in adapted physical education and moving to the University of Toledo. At Toledo, she served a two-year head coaching stint from 1982-84. In a preview of things to come from the promising young coach, Kearney helped Toledo's track and field program break 25 school records.
Kearney's trail of success continued at Tennessee where she was a top assistant track coach for the national powerhouse Lady Vols from 1984-86. During her Tennessee tenure, the Vols finished in the top four in nearly every indoor and outdoor national meet. Six Lady Vols captured NCAA titles, and an impressive 12 garnered All-America honors. The Vols' 4x400m relay team also set an indoor world record in 1986 as they claimed the NCAA title.
At the young age of 29, Kearney took over one of the most successful programs in women's track and field history at the University of Florida. She spent five years (1988-1993) in Gainesville, leading Florida to three first-place the Southeastern Conference finishes and two top-two finishes at the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets.
In leading Florida to the NCAA indoor championship in 1992, Kearney became the first female African American coach to win a Division I title in any sport.
Kearney's coaching honors include an induction into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and The University of Texas Women's Hall of Honor in 2006. Kearney was the keynote speaker and the 2007 "Honoree Woman of Distinction" for the seventh annual H-E-B Annual Women of Distinction Luncheon. The City of Tempe and the Tempe Sports Authority honored Kearney at the 14th Annual Gene Autry Courage Awards in March of 2007.