Coleman was named the 2017 Amateur Male Athlete of the Year for the second straight year. Gatlin attended Tennessee from 2000-02 and was honored as the 2017 Professional Male Athlete of the Year. The two Tennessee sprinters will be honored on Saturday, June 3rd at the Omni Hotel in Nashville.
The ceremony will be in conjunction with the 2017 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Class. The 10-person class was announced in November and includes five former Tennessee football players: Chad Clifton, Al Wilson, Haskel Stanback, Graham Vowell and Willie Gault. Gault also was an 11-time All-American for the Tennessee track team as he competed in the short sprints and hurdles.
Coleman earned the award after winning two NCAA Indoor National Championships and being named the USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Coleman won both the 60m and 200m national titles in record-setting fashion as he joined Justin Gatlin (2002) and Kim Collins (2001) as the only athletes to win the double in the last 30 years. He joined the elite company by becoming the only person to rank in the all-time collegiate top 10 in both the 60m and 200m races, ranking second in the 200m and tied for first in the 60m.
Coleman won the NCAA Championship in the 60m dash by tying a collegiate record with a time of 6.45 seconds. The junior sprinter had a .09 second margin of victory, the largest margin of victory in NCAA Championship history. He also set a NCAA Indoor National Championship meet record, facility record and school record while tying for the top mark posted in the world during the 2017 season. Coleman did not lose a 60m race all indoor season, posting marks under 6.56 seconds on seven occasions while the rest of the student-athletes in NCAA Division I have done it only three times. He won the 60m SEC Championship for the second consecutive season and posted three of the top five times in the world in the 60m this year.
In the 200m, Coleman recorded second-fastest collegiate time in history as he finished in 20.11. Coleman's mark is the fastest in the world this year and only trailed Wallace Spearmon's 2005 mark of 20.10. He won his heat by more than half a second as he won his second consecutive NCAA Indoor 200m championship. He is the eighth person to win two 200m national titles and the seventh to do it in back-to-back years. Coleman lost only one race in the 200m all season, and holds three of the top 10 times in the world this year.
Coleman also set the school record in the 100m last outdoor season with a mark of 9.95 at US Trials. The Atlanta, Georgia native finished second in both the 100m and 200m dashes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Coleman followed that up by running 100m times of 9.96, 9.95 and 10.06 at the US Olympic Trials and earned a spot on the USA team at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Coleman competed in the prelims of the 4x100m competition as the USA qualified with the top time. The squad finished third in the finals, but was disqualified for a handoff outside the zone.
Former Tennessee sprinter Justin Gatlin won the silver medal in the 100m dash at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics as he finished in a time of 9.89 seconds. Gatlin now has won five Olympic medals. The former six-time NCAA Champion also competed in the 200m dash and the 4x100m relay in Rio. He ran the second leg for the relay squad in the final.
In order to qualify for the US Olympic team, Gatlin had one of the most remarkable performances, running 100m times of 9.80 and 9.83, the first and third-fastest times in the world during the 2016 calendar year. He also posted a mark of 19.75 in the 200m, the second-fastest 200m time in the world during 2016.
Gatlin posted seven 100m marks of 9.95 or faster in the 100m during the 2016 season, more than any other athlete. Usain Bolt only hit that threshold three times during 2016. He was the oldest U.S. sprinter to reach the Olympic Games since 1912. Gatlin, 34, also became the oldest sprinter to ever medal in Olympic history, breaking the age record that belonged to Linford Christie of Great Britain who was 32 when winning her last medal.
Coleman and Felicia Brown were both named Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Amateur Athletes of the Year last season.