INDIANAPOLIS -- Caryl Smith Gilbert whose University of Southern California’s Track & Field women’s program won the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championship has been named 2018 Nike Coach of the Year.
Smith Gilbert (Los Angeles, California) will be honored during the USATF Night of Legends event on Saturday, December 1 in Columbus, Ohio. Other honorees will include the Jesse Owens, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Wing Award winners. In addition, USATF will induct the latest Hall of Fame class and honor the 50th anniversary of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Track & Field team. Click here for more information.
In her fifth year as Director of USC Track & Field, Smith Gilbert led the Trojan women to the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship, the second in program history. The women claimed the title with a thrilling come-from-behind win in the 4x400m in which USC scored 52 of their 53 team points. The Trojan men saw stellar performances at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from would-be professionals Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin, in which they set three collegiate records en route to a fourth place team finish. In winter, Smith Gilbert’s men’s team finished second at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships and the women finished seventh after winning the Pac-12 Indoor title.
"Caryl has become one of the world’s greatest coaches, and the consistent success of her athletes is a testament to that fact,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “USATF congratulates her on this richly deserved honor.”
Throughout 2018 Smith Gilbert led athletes to 23 All-America honors, 10 school records (combined indoors and outdoors), six USC freshman records, increasing the totals to 29 freshman records (20 indoor and 9 outdoor) and 46 school records (29 indoors and 17 outdoor) under her leadership.
"This award is not about me; it's about allowing the world to have a preview of what women can do,” said Smith Gilbert. “This is a testament to all the years of hard work, but most importantly, it's about changing lives and helping people along the way. I've been fortunate to do that in my career."
In addition to a coaching career at the collegiate and high school levels, Smith Gilbert served as a Team USATF assistant coach at the NACAC Championships and was invited to coach sprints at the 2005 Pan Am Junior Championships. In 2007, she served as an assistant coach for the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Most recently, she was assistant coach (jumps and multis) at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.