lst Female Coach Over Men In SEC History Leaves Tennessee Track Program

Friday, May 20, 2022

Tennessee Athletics Director Danny White has initiated a leadership transition process within the track & field/cross country program.

Tennessee Athletics and Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan mutually agreed to part ways on Thursday, effective immediately. Assistant Ken Harnden will oversee the program on an interim basis while a comprehensive search for a permanent replacement is conducted.

Alford-Sullivan has led Tennessee's combined men's & women's program for eight seasons. In June of 2014, she became the first female head coach in SEC history to oversee a men's program (in any sport). Under her direction, dozens of program records were broken and Tennessee student-athletes captured 31 individual or relay SEC titles and eight individual or relay NCAA championships.

She also coached five-time NCAA champion Christian Coleman, who won the prestigious Bowerman award in 2017.

"We appreciate Beth's leadership of our track & field and cross country programs and her years of service to the University of Tennessee," White said. "We're focused on supporting our student-athletes throughout this transition, I'm looking forward to hearing their input—which is critically important and valuable—as we prepare to begin our coaching search."

Tennessee boasts a rich, championship tradition in track & field/cross country. The programs have won a combined eight team national championships—five by the Vols and three by the Lady Vols. Four of those NCAA team titles have come since 2000.
Tennessee track also has produced 45 Olympians who have earned 18 total medals, including 10 golds.

Olympic gold medalists who studied and trained at Tennessee include Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Justin Gatlin, Sam Graddy, Tim Mack, Tianna Madison, Aries Merritt and DeeDee Trotter.


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