UT Men’s Track and Field Coach Retires

A legendary coaching career is coming to an end. After serving as UT’s head men’s track and field coach for 18 years, Bubba Thornton has announced he’s retiring so he can devote more time to his family and community. During his tenure at UT, Thornton led his athletes to 12 conference championships and 19 NCAA top 10 finishes. He was also voted the Big 12 Coach of the Year 10 times.thornton_bubba_track

In addition to guiding the Longhorns, Thornton also served as the men’s head track and field coach for the U.S. team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Americans brought home 14 medals that year—more than any other track and field squad in the competition.

His list of achievements goes on, but it’s perhaps his role as a mentor that Thornton’s athletes appreciate most.

“He has been like a father figure to me,” said Aaron Fox, director of track and field and cross country at UT-San Antonio and a former Longhorn. “I still check in once a week for advice.”

In a press release, Thornton looked back at his time as head coach. “As any university coach will tell you, seeing young men come in as freshmen, wide-eyed and enthusiastic, and leave as more mature men, prepared for the world, is one of the great satisfactions in life,” he said.

Upon Thornton’s departure, UT’s men’s and women’s track and field programs will be reorganized to fall under the direction of one coach. Thornton’s retirement will be effective Aug. 31.

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.


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