Kearney earns U.S. Sports Academy's 2012 Distinguished Service Award
Oct. 10, 2012
DAPHNE, Ala. – During her more than three decades of coaching track and field, Texas Women’s Track & Field head coach Beverly Kearney has become one of the most successful and decorated coaches across all of collegiate athletics.
However, more inspiring than even her seven NCAA national championships and 17 top-three team finishes as a head coach is her comeback from a car accident Dec. 26, 2002, that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Kearney stood four months after the crash and abandoned her wheelchair within a year. Today, she walks with the help of a cane.
For Kearney’s amazing story of overcoming obstacles and her success in life and sports, she is being honored by the United States Sports Academy with a 2012 Distinguished Service Award. The award is given annually by the Academy to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research or service.
Kearney first experienced adversity early in life when she lost her mother at 17 years old and experienced homelessness. However, she worked multiple jobs to support herself and track and field led her to a scholarship at Auburn University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Auburn and a master’s degree in physical education at Indiana State University.
Now entering her 21st season at Texas, Kearney has also served as a head coach at the University of Florida an University of Toledo and an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee and Indiana State. She has coached 12 Olympians, including Sanya Richards-Ross, who took home gold medals in the 400-meters and as a member of the 400-meter relay team for the U.S. at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
At Texas, she has guided the Lady Longhorns to Indoor Championships in 1998, 1999 and 2006 and Outdoor Championships in 1998, 1999 and 2005. In 2007, Kearney was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Coaches Hall of Fame.
Kearney has also founded the Pursuit of Dreams Foundation. Designed around Kearney’s coaching philosophy, the nonprofit strives to connect young men and women with needed resources to realize their fullest potential.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.