2006 Division I Assistant Coach of the Year in the Mideast Region
One National Champion
Three NCAA Runner-Ups
15 All-Region Selections
Six Southeastern Conference Champions
22 All-SEC Honorees
34 School Records
Erin Tucker begins his eighth season as a member of the University of Kentucky track and field staff. Tucker oversees the sprint and hurdle events, and has built an impressive résumé in his time with the Wildcats, including his first NCAA Champion Rondel Sorrillo in 2010.
The 2010 season was a banner year for Tucker's sprinters earning seven All-America honors in total and six at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, including the first 200m National Champion in UK history. Sorrillo picked up his first of three All-America awards at the NCAA Indoor Championships, placing fifth in the 60m dash with a time of 6.66. Sorillo went on to the NCAA Outdoor Championships where he really did his damage collecting three All-America honors. The first, a national championship run in the 200m dash with a time of 20.36, the second-best time of his career behind his school-record mark of 20.29. He added a runner-up performance in the 100m dash with a time of 10.06 and was a part of the 4x100m relay team that included Kwasi Obeng, Alex Williams and Sean Lange, who made it to the finals. Sorrillo collected nine All-America honors in just two years at Kentucky and became the fastest man to reach that mark in school history.
For the second year in a row Tucker's student-athletes accounted for all the points scored by the UK men at the NCAA Championships. This year it was all Sorrillo, earning 18 points in total with his first and second place finishes, catapulting the Kentucky men into 13th place overall.
Tucker's women's 4x400m relay team broke the school record four times during the 2010 indoor and outdoor season, becoming the first women's 4x4 relay team to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships at UK. Their initial record-breaking performance came during the indoor season at the SEC Championships with a time of 3:37.90. At the next meet, the Iowa State Qualifier, the foursome destroyed their own record with a time of 3:35.40 qualifying the team for nationals. The first outdoor record was set early in that season in Gainesville, Fla., with a time of 3:36.32 breaking the previous record set in 1996 by over two seconds. The team again broke its own record later in the year at the most important race of the season, the NCAA Southeast Regional with a school-record time of 3:35.14. The UK women's 4x400m relay team qualified for the NCAA championships for the first time since 1996. At the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Tucker's sprinters had a hand in all 15 points earned by the men. With a second place, 20.70, performance in the 200m dash, junior Rondel Sorrillo collected eight points for the Cats. Continuing his stint at the NCAA Championships, Sorrillo earned four more team points, finishing in 10.22 for fifth place. Also contributing to the team total was the men's 4x100 relay team. Comprised of Sorrillo, junior Kwasi Obeng, and seniors Gordon McKenzie and Jose Acevedo, the squad took sixth in 39.27, taking three points. Sorrillo went on to become a semifinalist at the 2009 World Championship in Berlin.
For their performances in the 2009 indoor and outdoor seasons, four of Tucker's athletes garnered All-America recognition. In only his first season at Kentucky, Sorrillo became the first Wildcat man to collect five All-America honors in one year. He earned recognition for his performances at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. At the 2009 Indoor Track and Field Championships, Sorrillo took All-America honors for a third-place finish in the 200m and a fifth-place finish in the 60m. Obeng, McKenzie and Acevedo also earned accolades for their finish at the outdoor championships. Since his arrival, Tucker's athletes have assaulted the UK record books, owning 66 (37 indoor, 29 outdoor) marks currently among the top 10 in various sprint events, including the school record in the outdoor men's 4x400 relay (3:02.00) - a record that stood at Kentucky for over 11 years before being broken twice in each of the last two seasons - and the indoor men's 4x400 relay (3:05.87).
During the 2008 season, Tucker directed UK men to four All-Mideast Regional honors and qualified eight of his athletes for regionals with eight marks in the sprints and hurdles and two relay marks which ranked 10th nationally. At Nationals, the 4x400m relay team placed third nationally while setting a school record in the event, clocking in at 3:02.00. The All-America Wildcat team consisted of seniors Nathan Browning and Justin Harrison as well as sophomore Kwasi Obeng and junior Jose Acevedo. A few weeks earlier the foursome brought home a Southeastern Conference title in the event. Tucker also coached Henna Martin to a school record in the 400m and All-America honors in the indoor 400m.
In 2007, Tucker's 4x400 indoor relay squad comprised of Acevedo, Browning, Harrison and Luis Luna made history as the Wildcats toppled No. 2 LSU at the NCAA Mideast Regional to make Kentucky the first team to defeat LSU in the five-year history of outdoor regional competition. During the 2007 indoor season, the Wildcats finished second in the nation at the NCAA Indoor Championships and captured the SEC Championship by breaking the Nutter Field House and SEC meet record with a time of 3:05.87. Tucker also coached Martin to a runner-up finish at the Jr. Pan-Am Championship. In that race she became the only sub 52 second 400m runner in UK history.
In 2006, Tucker was named the Division I Assistant Coach of the Year in the Mideast Region. He was asked to be a guest coach on the Venezuelan National Team at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Cartagena, Columbia. At the national level, Tucker's athletes have compiled many accolades. From 2006-08, Luis Luna took the 400m title and Jose Acevedo took first place at the Venezuelan National Championships. Rondel Sorrillo owns 2009 Trinidad 200m title as well as the 2009 CAC 4x100 championship. Also at the 2009 CAC Championship, Sorrillo took second in the 200m.In 2007 and 2008 Trinidad National Championships, Mikel Thomas was the 110m hurdles champion, while taking second place in the 2008 4000m hurdles. Also in 2008, Tucker guided Jenna Martin to third place finishes at the Canadian Olympic Trials and NACAC U-23 in the 400m, and Jose Acevedo to third at the CAC Championships in the 200m.
Under Tucker, four Wildcats have participated in the Summer Olympics. Jose Acevedo ran at the2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Acevedo represented his home country of Venezuela, as Tucker was handpicked by the Venezuelan National Team to work with sprinters as an assistant coach. Wildcat hurdler Mikel Thomas also participated in the 2008 Olympic games, competing in the 110m hurdles for Trinidad and Tobago. Also running for Trinidad in Beijing was Rondel Sorillo, participating in the 200m. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, Luis Luna ran in the 400m.
Tucker came to Lexington from the University of Illinois, where he spent three seasons in a similar position with the men's track team. During his stay in Champaign, Tucker's athletes were responsible for breaking multiple school records and posting 10 new top-10 marks in school history. Before entering coaching, Tucker enjoyed a prolific collegiate track career at the University of Florida (1994-99). While there, he became a four time SEC champion and a six-time All-American. In 1998, Tucker won the 400-meter hurdles at the SEC Championships with a personal best time of 49.82, which still ranks as the sixth-fastest time in Florida history. Tucker also ran on three conference championship teams and four All-America mile relay teams for UF. Tucker was a two-time All-SEC academic honoree at Florida and served as team captain from 1997-99. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Florida, and is an active member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
Tucker has one child Ezra Tucker (one year old) and is the guardian of his cousin Quran Jackson (16 years old). Tucker lives in Lexington with his fiancé April Sams.