Gold Medalist Allen Johnson Joins UK Track and Field Staff
1996 Olympic Gold Medalist joins Floréal’s staff as assistant coach
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 2014-15 Kentucky track and field coaching staff will feature two Olympic Medalists and three former Olympians as Allen Johnson was announced as the program’s newest assistant coach on Thursday.
Johnson won the Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in the 110-meter hurdles.
Johnson will work alongside head coach Edrick Floréal with UK’s sprinters, hurdlers, horizontal jumpers and relays.
“I am honored and excited about joining the Wildcat family, and look forward to helping Coach Floréal continue building on past success,” Johnson said. “I’m excited about the work we are going to put in as we seek to bring Kentucky student-athletes to prominence honorably both academically and athletically.
Floréal has added two assistant coaches this summer, and both are Olympic Medalists. 2004 Pole Vault Silver Medalist Toby Stevenson, who will work with the vertical jumpers and multi-event athletes, joined the staff in July.
“We are thrilled to have Allen Johnson join the Wildcat family as an assistant coach for our men’s and women’s programs,” Floréal said. “He has experienced track at the highest level and spent the last several seasons developing and mentoring student-athletes. Our kids will benefit greatly from his world-class experience and coaching.”
Floréal himself is a two-time Olympian in the triple jump for Canada. He also coached the United States jumpers and decathletes to a total of six medals (two gold) at the 2012 Olympics in London.
“Coming off a multitude of school-record finishes at the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Track and Field Championships, we’re excited that the additions of Coach Johnson and Coach Stevenson will mesh with our already heavily-decorated coaching staff and push for bigger and better things,” UK Senior Associate Athletics Director and track and field/cross country administrator Jason Schlafer said. “The staff Coach Floréal has assembled reinforces UK’s commitment to track and field and the promise of an elite, championship-level track and field program.”
A specialist in sprints and hurdles, Johnson comes to Kentucky from the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the Falcons.
During his first season at Air Force, Johnson coached the men's 4x400-meter relay team to Mountain West titles during both the indoor and outdoor championship meets. Highlighting the Falcons' sweep was a then-record-setting performance to clinch the program's first-ever indoor team title.
In addition to his Olympic gold, Johnson earned gold medals in the 110m hurdles at seven IAAF World Championships: 1995 (Gothenburg), 1997 (Athens), 2001 (Edmonton) and 2003 (Paris) in the 110m hurdles, while placing first in the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships in 1995 (Barcelona), 2003 (Birmingham) and 2004 (Budapest).
Johnson finished second in the 60m hurdles at the 2008 World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain, third at the 110-meter hurdles at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland and fourth in the 110m hurdles at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Johnson, who was ranked as the top 110m hurdler in the world for four years by Track & Field News, spent 14 consecutive years listed among the world's top 10, including 12 years ranked within the top five, while finishing a record 11 races in less than 13 seconds.
A native of Washington D.C., Johnson was the 1997 recipient of the prestigious Jesse Owens Award, which is the highest accolade given out by USA Track and Field (USATF). He also earned the USATF/Visa Humanitarian Award in 1999, after leading a successful fundraiser for a new track surface at his former high school.
Johnson attended the University of North Carolina, where he won the 1992 NCAA Championship in the 55m hurdles with a meet-record time of 7.07 in the race. He was the national runner-up in the 55m hurdles (indoor) and 110m hurdles (outdoor) as a senior, while setting an ACC record in the long jump.
Johnson, who still holds school records at North Carolina in the indoor long jump, outdoor long jump and 110-meter hurdles, also won four Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) titles, including three in the long jump (two indoor, one outdoor) and one in the 110m hurdles.
Prior to coaching at Air Force, Johnson previously spent time as an assistant coach for South Carolina.
Kentucky will host the 2015 SEC Indoor Championships.