Texas wasted little time hiring a new track coach to replace Mario Sategna.
The Longhorns hired Kentucky coach Edrick Floreal as their new coach, the school announced Wednesday.
Floreal credited the support Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart provided him in helping him land one of the top track and field jobs in the nation.
“It’s because of them that I have an opportunity like this, and I am so excited to be the head coach at Texas,” Floreal 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.”
Floreal graduated from Arkansas in 1990. During his career as a student-athlete for the Razorbacks, he was the NCAA’s premier triple jumper.
He claimed five national championships, sweeping the indoor and outdoor triple jump titles in 1989 and 1990. He won his first NCAA title in 1988. Floreal competed for Canada at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He earned a bronze medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.
Floreal worked six years at Kentucky after a six-year stint as the coach at Stanford.
“Edrick is a terrific coach who has a tremendous reputation in the track and field community,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “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.”
Floreal leads Kentucky to stunning recent success
Floreal was particularly effective with the Kentucky women’s program, which placed fourth in the recent NCAA championships. It was the third time in four seasons Kentucky’s women’s team finished in the top 4 at the NCAA championships.
The Kentucky men’s team finished tied for 16th. It was the Wildcats’ best finish in eight seasons.
“We are grateful to Edrick for his work leading our program and wish him well,” Barnhart said in a statement. “We believe the success Kentucky track and field and cross-country have seen in recent years is just a glimpse of what’s to come.”