When Michael Ford left Baylor 24 years ago with a degree in marketing, not only did he have no plans to coach, but he also certainly didn’t expect to one day head up the historic track & field program at his alma mater.
Ford becomes just the fourth Baylor head track coach in the modern era and the third since 1963 when Jack Patterson left to take the job at the University of Texas. Legendary Coach Clyde Hart headed the program for the next 42 years and stayed on as Director of Track & Field until 2019. Continuing a new coaching legacy, Ford is the third coach who was a track letterwinner, in addition to Hart and the recently retired head coach, Todd Harbour, who headed up the track program for the past 16 seasons following his own stellar track career at Baylor as a middle distance runner.
As a student-athlete at Baylor, Ford was part of back-to-back NCAA Outdoor national championship 4×400 relays, winning it in 1995 with Raoul Howard, Corey Williams and Deon Minor and then in ’96 with Howard, Darrin Strong and Marlon Ramsey.
On top of his Baylor coaching duties, Ford helped former Baylor All-American Jeremy Wariner win a silver medal in the 400 at the 2008 Olympics and continued to work with two-time NCAA national champion Trayvon Bromell after he turned pro in 2015. He coached USA teams at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, and the inaugural USA vs. Europe meet, “The Match,” in Minsk, Belarus, in 2019. Ford will also get the chance to follow three former Baylor student-athletes in the Tokyo Olympics, with Bromell, London and pole vaulter KC Lightfoot all representing Team USA.
Ford aims to build on the “Quarter-Miler U” tradition started by Hart, with a plan to “hit it hard on the sprints and hurdles” in recruiting, but he also wants to “keep pressing” in the field events, where the program has had a lot of recent success, adding, “we want to get back to getting some good distance runners on our team to make us a better overall team.”
We are proud to see the legendary Baylor Track & Field program continue under the leadership of yet another Baylor letterwinner, and are excited to see Ford’s team in action this coming season. To read more in depth about our new head coach, click this link.
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