Luis Orta earns first team All-SEC honors; team has best finish since 1992
Entering his 28th season as head coach at the University of Kentucky, Don Weber has seen NCAA Champions, All-America honors, Conference Champions and academic honors. Overall, he has dedicated his time and passion over the past 34 years including the six seasons Weber served as head cross country coach and as an assistant coach for track and field. Weber has built Kentucky into the prestigious program that it is today.
A veteran to the Southeastern Conference, Weber's coaching tenure at UK is the longest among his peers in the league. Weber has spearheaded track and field and cross country at UK since 1984, and under his direction, the program has become a staple at the national championships.
National success quickly followed after Weber was elevated to direct the program. His 1985 women's cross country team finished fourth at the NCAA Championships. The Wildcats improved the following year with a third-place national finish, leading up to his crowning achievement.
In 1988, Weber guided the UK women's cross country team to the NCAA National Championship title. At the same national championship event, the men's team finished eighth. In 1989, the women's squad returned to the championship as the national runner-up. In 2008, Weber helped guide a new generation to the national stage as the women's team made its fifth postseason appearance at the NCAA Championships.
In recognition of the Wildcats' success on the cross country course, Weber was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1988. Prior to that, he was honored as NCAA District III Coach of the Year in 1985. In both of those years, he also received the SEC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year. Weber has been named SEC Women's Coach of the Year three times (1985, 1988 and 1989) and was Men's Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1995.
After more than two decades at the helm of the Kentucky program, Weber's athletes have earned 187 NCAA All-America honors and six Wildcats have won 10 NCAA individual national championships. He has also coached a total of 106 SEC individual champions. During Weber's tenure at Kentucky, Wildcat cross country and track and field athletes have consistently been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Weber's prolific coaching career stems from his vast experience as a Kentucky athlete and former SEC Champion. As a student-athlete, Weber participated in track and cross country at UK from 1968-72. In 1970, he helped his team to the SEC Cross Country Championship, which led to an All-SEC honor in cross country. Weber also received All-SEC honors in indoor track from 1968-72. He was the SEC 1,000-yard champion in 1972, establishing a then-conference record with a time of 2:10.20. Weber received the UK Athletic Leadership Award the same year. In addition to all of his honors and records, he was named captain of both the cross country and track squads.
After receiving his bachelor's degree from UK in education in 1973, he began his coaching career at Jesse Stuart High School in Louisville. Following two successful years at the high school level, he entered the collegiate ranks as an assistant cross country and track and field coach at Murray State University in Murray, Ky. While coaching the Racers, Weber earned a master's degree in secondary education.
In 1975, the Concentracion Deportiva de Pinchincha (the Sports Committee of the Ecuadorian State of Pichincha) selected Weber as the National and Olympic Track and Field Coach and to guide the team at the Montreal Summer Games. Following the 1976 Olympics, Weber returned to the United States to serve as the assistant coach at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan., before joining the coaching staff at his alma mater in 1978.
Weber has also authored several articles on distance running. He and his wife Camille have three adult children: Jennifer, Katie and Robbie.