July 1, 2022

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Leroy Burrell leaves UH: University of Houston track and field coach departs after 23 years

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Soon after 23 a long time of coaching at his alma mater, University of Houston observe and field head coach Leroy Burrell declared on Thursday he would be leaving the software.

The Olympic gold medalist and longtime mentor will be having his knowledge and information 686 miles absent to the SEC powerhouse Auburn University for the head coach posture of the observe and area method.

In a statement on UH’s site, Burrell reminisces on his time in 3rd Ward:

“I am grateful to have experienced the opportunity to be the mentor, and I respect the huge commitment and exertion to carry the College of Houston Track and Discipline application to the stage of excellence it has achieved,” Burrell mentioned.

“I to start with stepped foot on Cullen Boulevard as an 18-year recruit and have remained related in a single-way condition or sort considering the fact that 1985. I grew up and recognized all my desires at the College. I then went on to travel the planet as a professional all even though currently being coached by Tom Tellez and teaching with Carl Lewis and the rest of the Cougars that experienced publish collegiately on campus. When I retired, UH gave me an unparalleled chance to be the head mentor, and I am grateful to Chet Gladchuk, Diane Howell, and Tom Tellez for supplying me an opportunity when I didn’t ought to have it. I, together with my staff members and pupil-athletes, went about building the Cougar Keep track of and Area method to national prominence via some of the most complicated, darkest days in the historical past of our college. For additional than 34 several years, I poured everything I had into Cougar Track and Field as a scholar-athlete, alumnus, and mentor. Just before August past year, my intention was to keep on to direct the software, but that all improved when I missing my son, Cameron, on Aug. 9, 2021.

I am without end grateful to Chris Pezman, DeJuena Chizer, Lauren Dubois and the office personnel, the Observe and Field personnel, particularly Will Blackburn and Carl Lewis and Mike Pede, who virtually held me up me when I couldn’t stand. It was tricky for me to return, but with time and everyone’s help, I was ready to functionality perfectly sufficient to return in a confined position. In actuality, I returned, but I have not really been the similar chief that I was. My only target was to help the scholar-athletes for the reason that they seriously grew to become all that mattered. All the whilst I prayed to possibly return to being myself or for a door to open up to allow for me to do something else. The possibility at Auburn is particularly the door I’d prayed for due to the fact it supplies me an option to wipe my slate cleanse and jumpstart my career devoid of the day by day reminder of shedding my son.

Whilst I will no for a longer time direct the Observe and Subject program, I am for good a aspect of the household of Cougars and will often have a vested fascination in the achievements of the method. I want the complete personnel and pupil-athletes finest wishes as they embark on a new obstacle of transitioning to the Massive 12. I am positive the Observe and Discipline workforce and the department will fare perfectly. My time on Cullen Boulevard has arrive to an conclusion but relaxation assured that, regardless of what God has in shop for me and my household, I will bleed Cougar red. Farewell Cougar Nation and Go Coogs!”

As a coach:

Through his time at UH, Burrell created a mark in just the plan. He coached 11 Olympians and 15 NCAA Champions for the duration of his tenure and was named Conference Mentor of the 12 months on many events.

Below Mentor Burrell, the Coogs received two NCAA titles. During the 2016-2017 period, his 4×100 meter relay squad showcasing his late son, Cameron Burrell, ran a university report of 38.44 and took dwelling the NCAA title. In the 2017-18 year, the team won the title again for the identical celebration, only that time, the relay crew ran the speediest time at any time recorded at the championships clocking a 38.17.

As a student athlete:

As an athlete of the College of Houston, Burrell was a three-time NCAA winner. In his junior time, he gained the indoor extended jump title. He then went on to operate the speediest 200-meter operate ever beneath any issue with a time of 19.61 and a 9.94 in the 100-meter relay race at the SWC Outside Championships. His third title came in Durham, North Carolina in the 100-meter relay race.

Throughout his period, he received the Jumbo Elliot Award and was named the nation’s best collegiate observe and subject athlete. Burrell was rated as the world’s top rated sprinter in 1990 and 1991.

As for the head coaching position, Associate Head Mentor Will Blackburn will be the Interim Head Coach for the track and industry system.

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