Aug. 24, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sammy Dabbs, who has coached sprints, hurdles and relays at the University of North Texas for four years, has been hired as the new sprints coach at the University of Kentucky, UK track and field head coach Don Weber announced Wednesday.
Dabbs comes to Kentucky after three successful years at North Texas where he led Mean Green sprinters to 28 conference championships. Prior to his three years as sprints, hurdles and relays coach at UNT, Dabbs served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at UNT, his alma mater, from August 2006-May 2008.
“We’re really excited about Sammy coming to Kentucky and joining our track and field staff as the sprints coach,” Weber said. “Sammy showed at North Texas that he has a knack for developing student-athletes and getting them to perform to their full potential. The number of NCAA marks his athletes set and conference records and awards speak for themselves.”
In his three seasons as an assistant coach at North Texas, the sprints and hurdles group produced 54 NCAA regional preliminary marks, eight NCAA provisional marks, six NCAA qualifiers, 25 school records, two Sun Belt Conference event records, nine All-Midwest Regional performers, 69 Sun Belt all-conference performers, four Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year awards and three junior national team qualifiers.
“I appreciate coach Weber giving me this opportunity to me,” Dabbs said. “I’m excited about the growth of this program not only this season but in years to come. I plan on bringing that same intensity and passion that I had at North Texas to Kentucky to get us to where we want to be.”
Dabbs coordinated official and unofficial visits with prospects at North Texas, managed the equipment budget and coordinated and supervised competitions across the country.
Under Dabbs, the women’s sprint hurdlers won both the indoor and outdoor Sun Belt Conference titles. Lauren Wiggins set the Sun Belt Conference Championships records in the 55 hurdles (7.72) and 100 hurdles (13.40), while in 2008, Wiggins ran the fastest time in Sun Belt history for the 55 hurdles
In 2010, Alysha Adams claimed six different conference championships, including three indoor championships and three outdoor. She also brought home the Most Outstanding Track Performer award for the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships.
The 2010 indoor season also saw Keyth Talley claim three conference titles and advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60-meter dash. Talley broke the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships record in the 55- and 200-meter dash en route to being named the most outstanding track performer.
In 2009, the foursome of Talley, Ryan Varner, Byron Washington, and CJ Fowler finished second at the NCAA Midwest Regional meet in the 4x100 relay, the highest finish of any event at a regional championship in North Texas history. At the NCAA Championships, the same foursome ran the second-fastest time in school history and finished 11th (39.59).
In his first season as the sprints, hurdles and relays coach, the men’s 4x100 relay made the Midwest Regional finals for the first time, and the men’s 4x400 relay returned to score points after not qualifying the previous two seasons.
Dabbs studied kinesiology at North Texas and currently holds the 60 hurdles school record at UNT. He began coaching in the fall of 2002, just months after his fourth-place finish at the 2002 Outdoor Sun Belt Conference Championships.
Dabbs was selected to participate in the USA Track and Field Emerging Elite Coaching Clinic held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., in the summer of 2009.
For all track and field news, go to UKathletics.com and follow Kentucky track and field on Twitter at @KentuckyTrack.