SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Former BYU women’s track and field head coach Craig Poole was inducted into the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame on December 14.
Poole was elected to the 2011 Hall of Fame class in August following his retirement from BYU in June of 2010. BYU track and field operations director Doug Padilla presented Poole with the award at the USTFCCCA annual convention.
Clarence Robison, who coached the BYU men’s track and field team from 1949-88, is the only other Cougar coach in the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2002.
During Poole’s tenure, which lasted from 1980-2010, the Cougar track team recorded an almost perfect record on conference and regional levels and was consistently among national contenders. Poole’s teams won 27 of 29 outdoor conference championships and 17 of 20 indoor conference championships.
Although he was never able to quite grasp a team National Championship trophy, reaching a career-best third-place NCAA finish in 2009, he did help several individual athletes realize their national championship dream. A total of 14 of his athletes were crowned national champions 18 times, while 81 of his athletes earned 165 All-American citations.
Poole was honored as the MWC Coach of the Year seven times, including the 2010 season, and WAC Coach of the Year ten times.
In 2004, Poole was the head coach for the U.S. at the World University Games in Beijing, China. He also served as coach and advisor to the Taiwan National team at the Asian & World Championships in 1987 and technical coach for Taiwan at the Asian Games in 1991. He served on the coaching staff for the West Team at the 1989 Olympic Festival, as head coach for the U.S. National Team vs. Great Britain in 1990, and for the American World Indoor Championships Team in 1993.
Poole was named to the 2004 U.S. Olympic coaching staff, traveling to the games in Athens, Greece. He coached the American athletes in the heptathlon, long jump and triple jump. In 1993, he was the head women’s USA Coach at the World Championships in Toronto, Canada.
Starting in the fall of 2010, Poole took on a new group of athletes to prepare for the future. As the head coach at the USA Track and Field Resident Program at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in California, Poole primarily works with athletes in the jumps and throws as they prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.
Poole received a doctorate in physical education and educational administration from the University of Utah in 1970. Poole also served as a full-time professor at BYU in sports psychology. Married to the former Sharon Woodland, the couple has four children.