After a successful six-year stint as director of track and field at Stanford, Edrick Floreal has been named the head coach of the University of Kentucky men’s and women’s track and field teams, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced Monday. Floreal will lead six sports programs at Kentucky, including men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, along with men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.
“We are proud to announce Edrick Floreal as the new Kentucky track and field head coach,” Barnhart said. “Edrick has found success in every step of his career, both on the track and in the classroom. He knows the SEC both as a student-athlete and as a coach, he has ties that span the country and he has developed student-athletes to compete on the national level and global level. His passion in the classroom is something we take great pride in at Kentucky, and we look forward to opening our new outdoor track and field facility under Edrick’s direction.”
Floreal, who is the first new track and field head coach in 28 years for the Wildcats, returns to Kentucky after serving as an assistant for the Wildcats during the 1996-98 seasons. Floreal left after the 1998 season to breathe life into the Stanford track and field program, where he spent his last 14 seasons and last six as the head coach.
“I am very excited to return to Kentucky and guide this program into a new era of success,” Floreal said. “I am certain that with the support of the administration and the Wildcat community, we can accomplish great things. The new outdoor track and field facility provides the perfect venue to accomplish the many goals I have for UK. My wife and I are looking forward to being back in the SEC, competing against the best in track and field and taking part in the new rise of champions at Kentucky. The potential is limitless and I am excited to join the Big Blue Nation as part of the Wildcat Family.”
In his six years as head coach in Palo Alto, Calif., the Cardinal men and women enjoyed tremendous success at the conference and NCAA championship level. A four-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year, the 2009 West Regional Indoor Coach of the Year and the 2006 West Regional Outdoor Coach of the Year, Floreal developed the Stanford sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers into Pac-12 and NCAA Championship contenders. Under his watch, more than 50 Stanford athletes earned 142 All-America honors.
Last season, the Cardinal men’s and women’s teams posted a top-10 finish, three top-15 finishes and four top-20 finishes at the NCAA men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor championships. The Stanford women tallied a sixth-place finish in the NCAA outdoor championship, including one individual national championship in the pole vault and a 13th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The men’s squad finished 11th in the NCAA Indoors and 18th at the NCAA Outdoors, including an individual championship in the 400-meter hurdles.
Combined, Floreal’s athletes garnered two national championships and 16 All-America honors. Additionally, four of Floreal’s athletes will represent four different countries (Bermuda, Greece, Nigeria and the United States) in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In 2011, Floreal led Stanford to a pair of national top-15 finishes. The Cardinal men placed eighth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, while the women were 14th. The season was highlighted by 10 athletes earning 15 All-America honors.
Stanford track and field was well represented in the classroom as well, with four athletes receiving Academic All-America honors and 41 student-athletes were recognized on the Pac-12 All-Academic teams.
Thirty-three of Floreal’s student-athletes earned MPSF All-Academic honors during the indoor season and 36 more were named Academic All-Pac-12 during the outdoor season. In addition, 23 athletes were named national All-Academic by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. In 2011, the 12 men named All-Academic were tops in the nation. In 2008, the Stanford men were named the Academic Team of the Year for the indoor season.
In 2009, Floreal led the Stanford women to an MPSF title and the men to a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Twelve athletes earned 17 All-America honors during the season. Floreal was named MPSF and West Regional Coach of the Year on the women's side as four individuals won MPSF titles. During the outdoor season, Floreal led six male athletes to All-America honors, the most during his tenure overseeing both programs. At the Pac-10 Championships, the Stanford women finished second, while the men finished third. It was the 10th consecutive top-three finish for the women and the highest finish for the Stanford men under Floreal.
Floreal served as assistant coach for Team USA at the 2002 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Kingston, Jamaica, which featured the world record-setting men's 4x100m relay team, the first team to run under 39 seconds. Prior to his arrival at Stanford, Floreal produced 13 All-Americans in three seasons at Kentucky. He also enjoyed successful coaching stints at Georgia Tech and Nebraska.
Floreal graduated from Arkansas in 1990. While a student-athlete for the Razorbacks, he captured five NCAA triple jump titles and four NCAA team championships. He also competed for Canada at the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympic Games.
Floreal is married to LaVonna Martin-Floreal, the 1992 Olympic silver medalist in the 100m hurdles. The couple has two children, Edrick Jr. and Mikaielle.