Nov. 21, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has announced that the organization will create an award in the name of Terry Crawford, to honor the "all-around" success that the former Tennessee, Texas and now Cal Poly coach has achieved.
The Terry Crawford Program of the Year Award will be awarded annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division I women's cross country and track & field program. The award will honor the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution's finish at the NCAA Division I Championships.
In order to be eligible for the award teams must qualify for the NCAA Championships. Scoring will be based on the team's finish at each NCAA Division I Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient.
Crawford, now in her 17th year of coaching at Cal Poly (13th as Director of Track and Field/Cross Country) began her career at the University of Tennessee, her alma mater, back in 1974. She spent 10 years at the school as the head coach of track and field/cross country. Her 1981 AIAW Championship track and field team was the first women's sport to win a national team title at Tennessee.
She led Tennessee to its first four women's SEC Outdoor Championships (1981-1984) and won the inaugural women's SEC Indoor Championship in 1984. Her coaching produced 19 individual AIAW and NCAA National Champions and 120 All-American honors at the University of Tennessee.
In 1984, Crawford accepted the head women's track and field/cross country position at the University of Texas and continued to build on her record of success. Between 1984 and 1992, Crawford's Longhorns won 18 Southwest Conference Championships - four in cross country, eight in indoor track and field, and six in outdoor track and field. Her teams also won five NCAA Championships including the only Triple Crown in NCAA women's history in 1986.
Crawford's new challenge came in 1992 when she moved out West to coach Cal Poly. Under her leadership the Cal Poly program continues to make strides to be one of the top programs, not only in the state of California, but on the national level as well.
Two of Crawford's former Cal Poly athletes, Stephanie Brown-Trafton, and Sharon Day both competed in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Brown-Trafton was the discus gold medalist, while Day competed in the high jump.
Crawford has also served the sports of cross country and track & field in several national leadership roles. She has served as President of the Women's Collegiate Cross Country Association and as President of the U.S. Track Coaches Association (1999-2001). Crawford currently sits on the board of directors of USATF and is the coordinator of Olympic development for women's middle distance running. She also serves as the chairperson for the USATF Coaches Advisory Committee.
In recognition of her achievements, Crawford has served as a national team coach for numerous competitions, including the World University Games, the Pan-American Games, the World Championships, and the World Cross Country Championships. In 1988, Crawford was selected as the head coach of the U.S. Women's Olympic Team.
Crawford is honored in the University of Tennessee Hall of Fame, the University of Texas Hall of Fame and also the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame.
A strong proponent of the total team concept, the acknowledgement of this award in her name bestows the endearing qualities teams should possess.
The inaugural Terry Crawford Program of the Year Award will be awarded at the conclusion of the 2009 outdoor track & field season. Programs who have qualified for the 2008 Division I Cross Country Championships will accumulate points towards the award.
In addition to the women's award, a similar men's award, named in honor of the former Arkansas head coach, John McDonnell, will also begin with the 2008 Division I Cross Country Championships.