With Monday’s naming of Edrick Floreal as his new track and field coach, University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart seems to have hit a home run.
Floreal, an assistant at UK from 1995 through 1997, has been at Stanford since 1998. The last eight years, as Cardinal director of track and field, Floreal had 91 athletes net 197 All-America honors.
A two-time Canadian Olympian (1988, ’92), he will be the Team USA jumps coach at the Summer Olympic Games in London later this month.
Floreal won five NCAA triple-jump titles while competing for Arkansas.
He will lead the UK men’s and women’s programs in cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track and field.
Floreal’s wife, former Tennessee standout LaVonna Martin-Floreal, was the 1992 Olympic silver-medalist in the 100-meter hurdles.
“Edrick has found success in every step of his career, both on the track and in the classroom,” Barnhart said in a UK press release. “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 succeeds the coach who brought him to UK, Don Weber, who recently retired after 34 years in the program and 28 years as 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.
Last school year, the Stanford women finished sixth in the NCAA Outdoor meet, with an individual champion in the pole vault, and took 13th Indoors. The Cardinal men placed 11th indoors and 18th outdoors, including an individual title in the 400-meter hurdles. In all, Stanford athletes won 16 all-America honors last season.
Four of Floreal’s Stanford athletes will be competing in the London Olympics, representing the United States, Bermuda, Greece and Nigeria.
Stanford also produced four Academic All-Americans last season, plus 41 on the Pac-12 All-Academic teams.