Coach Poole (right) with BYU All-Americans and Olympians Tiffany Lott-Hogan (left) and Marsha Mark Baird (middle) at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
PROVO -- Craig Poole has announced his retirement after 30 seasons as head coach of BYU women’s track and field. During his tenure, the nine-time MWC Coach of the Year guided the Cougars to 43 team conference titles and 18 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Poole will continue his coaching career as the head coach for the USA Track & Field Resident Program at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in California.
"Craig Poole had a fantastic career at BYU coaching the women's track and field teams. The record of his teams and individual student athletes speaks for itself," said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. "There are only a handful of coaches in the country that can compare success stories to Coach Poole's. He is a future Hall of
Famer for sure."
Poole was named head coach of the women’s program in 1980 and immediately found success, leading the Cougars to second-place finishes in both the indoor and outdoor region championships. BYU began competing in outdoor conference championships in 1983 and proceeded to win 20-consecutive titles and 28 of 30 overall. Indoor conference competition began in 1991 and the Poole-led Cougars have since won 17 of 20 titles.
“BYU is where my heart and soul have been for 30 years,” Poole said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with fantastic athletes who bought into what was important and brought credit to BYU and everything it stands for. Any success that I may have had as a coach came because of all the people in the background working hard to make sure the athletes have a championship experience and environment.”
Numerous individuals have achieved national and international success under Poole as he has coached 81 student-athletes to 169 All-America honors and 14 athletes to 18 National Championships. In addition, six of his athletes have competed in the Olympic Games.
Success at BYU has translated into national respect for Poole. In 2002, he was the head coach for the U.S. at the World University Games in Beijing, China. That same year, Poole was named to the U.S. Olympic coaching staff, traveling to the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. He coached the U.S. athletes in the heptathlon, long jump and triple jump.
Poole served on the coaching staff for the West Team at the 1989 Olympic Festival and as head coach for the U.S. National Team vs. Great Britain in 1990 and for IAAF U.S. World Indoor Championships Team in 1993. Also in 1993, Poole was the head women’s USA Coach at the World Championships in Toronto, Canada.
Poole received an Ed.D. in physical education and educational administration from the University of Utah in 1970. In addition to coaching, Poole was a full-time professor of sports psychology at BYU. He and his wife Sharon have four children.
CLICK HERE for more information on Poole's new position with USA Track and Field.