Texas taps Floréal to lead track and field program

CJ Vogel

The University announced the hiring of Edrick Floréal as the new head coach of the Longhorn track and field program Wednesday afternoon, ending the five-month vacancy of the position.

Floréal spent the previous six seasons at the helm of Kentucky’s track and field program, where he transformed the Wildcats into a national power. Under Floréal, the Kentucky women earned three team trophies in the past four years, while the men never ranked lower than 22nd in the NCAA rankings during his tenure.

“Edrick is a terrific coach who has a tremendous reputation in the track and field community,” said Chris Del Conte, vice president and athletics director. “He’s a coach I’ve followed for a long time and is so well respected. Everyone I talked to had great things to say, and I really enjoyed visiting with him. I am excited about what he’ll bring to our program and how he’ll build on the proud tradition of Texas track and field.”

Wildcat athletes won 12 event NCAA Championships, earned 142 All-America honors, 37 individual SEC Championships and five Academic All-America honors during his time at Kentucky.

“People who know me know I’m a tireless worker; I’m a workaholic and love being at the track,” Floréal said. “I am driven to succeed and come to work every day with the burning desire to make everybody on the team better. I am going to bring that same focus, passion and drive to Texas. I am so excited to get there, meet the team and become a part of the Longhorn community.”

During part of Floréal’s 25-year coaching career, he served as Team USA’s jumps and multi-events coach in the 2012 London Olympics, where his team earned six medals. He is also the man responsible for coaching Keni Harrison at the 2017 International Association of Athletic Federations World Championships, where Harrison set the world record in the 100-meter hurdles.

“It’s because of them that I have an opportunity like this, and I am so excited to be the head coach at Texas,” Floréal said. “It’s the elite of the elite in track and field programs, and the potential to achieve greatness is fantastic. You have the premier track and field state in the country to recruit in, a rich and proud history and are the flagship institution of the state. It’s truly an amazing opportunity.”

To complement his coaching resume, Floréal participated in two Summer Olympics in 1988 and 1992, won bronze in the 1990 Commonwealth Games and won 5 NCAA titles in the triple-jump.

“He is a proven program builder and developer of young people,” Del Conte said.  “And, as a former track legend from the days of the Southwest Conference, he knows this part of the country and the passion that our great state has for the sport.”