June 26, 2002
Columbia, SC – Fresh off winning the school’s first-ever NCAA title, South Carolina Head Track and Field Coach Curtis Frye has been named an assistant Olympic coach for the USA Women’s Track and Field team. Frye will coach the women’s hurdles and sprints and will work through the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Frye will work next summer with the USA’s World University Games and the next summer, he will work on the Olympic staff in Athens, Greece. He will continue to work with USC’s top 10 men’s and women’s track and field teams.
“I am thankful that my peers and athletes chose to give me this opportunity to work with the Olympic team,” said Frye. “I am glad that now that when someone says ‘Coach Frye is an Olympic coach’ it is true. Many times when people say ‘They took 12 people to the Olympics in 2000, he was an Olympic coach,’ now I am an Olympic coach. Being a part of the No. 1 track team in the world is an honor.”
Frye’s women’s team at USC won the NCAA title in June, with the men’s team finishing sixth. USC collected 32 All-Americans this year, the most ever in a single year. The Gamecocks also won two individual NCAA titles and three NCAA relay titles. On the SEC level, the women won the outdoor title. Individually, USC won six SEC titles and three SEC relay titles.
On the elite level, Frye has seen five of his pupils win Olympic medals at the past two Olympics: Monique Hennagan (women’s 4x400m relay – gold medal – 2000), Charmaine Howell (women’s 4x400m relay – silver medal – 2000), Melissa Morrison (100m hurdles – bronze medal – 2000), Allen Johnson (men’s 110m hurdles – gold medal – 1996), Terrence Trammell (men’s 110m hurdles – silver medal – 2000).
“I can’t think of anyone better to work with the women’s team in the sprints and hurdles,” said USC volunteer coach Monique Hennagan, a gold medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “Coach Frye is a wonderful person both on a personal and professional level. He knows how to get the most out of athletes because he cares about each person.”
“Out of all the coaches out there, he deserves it. He is a top caliber coach that has coached many Olympic medalists and it’s time he was recognized as such,” said Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson. “It really is a good thing. Coach Frye has a good relationship with all the athletes. He is fair and will do the right thing. He isn’t a coach that let’s his own personal agenda get involved in his decisions. He will do what is right and he will do what is fair for the team. This just falls in line with the rest of his accomplishments, Coach of the Year, NCAA champions – he deserves this as much as anyone else. There aren’t too many people out there that have accomplished what he has accomplished.”
USA Track & Field has nominated George Williams and Sue Humphrey to serve as head coaches for the men’s and women’s 2004 Olympic Teams, respectively, for track and field.
The nominations for the Olympic staff are being submitted to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Once approved by the USOC, Williams, Humphrey and the Team USA staff will guide the World’s #1 Track & Field Team at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In Olympic competition, Team USA has won 297 gold medals and 688 medals overall.
“The talent and experience that George, Sue and the entire staff bring to the Olympic stage will be a huge advantage for our athletes,” said Craig Masback, USATF CEO. “We are pleased to have such an outstanding group of coaches and managers for the 2004 Olympic Team.”
Since becoming head track and field coach at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., in 1976, the 59-year-old Williams has built a dynasty. He has won 24 NCAA Division II titles during his tenure and he has received 90 Coach of the Year honors. His scholarship athletes at St. Augustine’s have achieved a 95 percent graduation rate.
Williams was men’s head coach at the 1999 World Outdoor Championships in Seville, the 1993 World Indoor Championships and the 1992 IAAF World Cup. He was an assistant coach for the 1996 Olympic Games, where U.S. athletes won gold medals in all the event groups he was responsible for – 400 meters, hurdles, long jump and the 4x400m relay. World-class athletes currently being trained by Williams include 2002 U.S. women’s 400m runner-up Michelle Collins, 2000 and 2001 U.S. women?s 400m champion and Olympic 4x400m gold medalist LaTasha Colander-Richardson, and men’s 4x400m relay world record holder and relay gold medalist Jerome Young,
Humphrey, 51, has achieved international success as a high jump coach as a member of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic staffs. She headed up Team USA’s delegation at the 1985 IAAF World Cup and the 1987 Pan American Games. An accomplished author of coaching manuals and videos, Humphrey coached 1996 Olympic high jump gold medalist Charles Austin, and she has coached three of the seven American women to have cleared 6 feet, 6 inches or higher in the high jump Coleen Sommer, Yolanda Henry and Angie Bradburn.
Humphrey was a women’s assistant coach at the University of Texas from 1984-89, during which time she coached NCAA champions in the high jump, triple jump and long jump. She has worked as an assistant at Arizona State and as a volunteer at Cal State-Long Beach and with the University of Texas men’s team. Currently she consults with post-collegiate jumpers and is assistant principal at Pearce Middle School in Austin, Texas.
Williams and Humphrey lead an impressive list of nominees for the 2004 staff. They include the following assistant coaches and managers:
Sprints/Hurdles: 2002 NCAA championship-winning University of South Carolina head coach, three time National Coach of the Year (collegiate), 2001 USATF Nike Coach of the Year and 2001 Goodwill Games head coach Curtis Frye
Jumps/Multis: BYU women’s head coach, 1993 World Indoor Championships head coach, and 2001 World University Games head coach Craig Poole
Throws: 1999 World Championships staff member, 1996 World Junior head coach, former Penn State assistant and USATF women’s hammer throw development chair Jeri Daniels-Elder
Middle distance: Penn State women’s head coach, 1997 World Junior Cross Country Championships coach and member of the 2001 World Championships staff Beth Alford-Sullivan
Distance: 1996 Olympic men’s and women’s marathon director, Peachtree Road Race director and 1999 World Championships staff member Julia Emmons
Manager: Four-time U.S. 100m hurdles champion, 1980 Olympic Team member, 1999 World Championships team manager and USATF women’s track and field chair Stephanie Hightower
Sprints/hurdles: 2001 Team USA World Championships head coach, 1997 World Indoor head coach and former longtime University of Washington head coach Orin Richburg
Jumps/multis: U.S. Air Force Academy head coach, 1999 Pan Am and 2001 World University Games head coach Ralph Lindeman
Throws: Former longtime head coach at Centerville (Ohio) High School and USATF Junior Commission administrator Criss Somerlot
Middle distance: 1999 World Championships staff member, 1990 and 1996 World Cross Country Championships head coach and two-time NCAA Cross Country Coach of the Year as Director of Track/Cross Country at Stanford University, Vin Lananna
Distance: Legendary UCLA coach, four-time NCAA Coach of the Year and Team USA California coach Bob Larsen
Head Manager: California-Bakersfield head coach for 31 years, 2002 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year and 1992 and 1996 Olympic Team staff member Charlie Craig.