Knights travel to USF Invitational under direction of first-year head coach Johnny Gray
USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Jeanette Bolden was named UCF's head track and field/cross country coach in June 2013 after a successful career at UCLA. The three-time NCAA championship coach and former United States Olympic team coach arrived in Orlando after 20 years at her alma mater.
Bolden has continued the recent success of the Knights' program, as the team qualified for the NCAA Championships for the sixth and seventh straight years during her first two seasons at the helm.
In 2014, 13 of Bolden's student-athletes earned all-conference honors, 11 qualified for the NCAA East Prelims, and seven advanced to the NCAA Championships. The following season, in 2015, 11 Knights garnered all-conference honors, 12 qualified for the NCAA East Prelims, and four advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Bolden has helped Jnea Bellamy to much success in her first two years running collegiately. Bellamy was named the Most Outstanding Track Performer at the 2015 American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships and qualified for nationals in the 100 meters, the 200 meters and as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team.
Success hasn't only been in competition though. The Knights have also excelled in the classroom under Bolden's leadership. UCF has earned the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honor in both 2014 and 2015, while nine Knights have garnered individual All-Academic honors from USTFCCCA during Bolden's two seasons as head coach.
The Jeanette Bolden File
USTFCCCA Hall of Fame (inducted Dec. 2010)
C. Vivian Stringer Award (2004)
2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Head Coach *First head coach in U.S. Olympic history to have won an Olympic medal as an athlete
Coached UCLA to 2004 NCAA Outdoor Team Championship
Coached UCLA to 2000, 2001 NCAA Indoor Team Championships
Coached four Bruins to six individual NCAA Championships
2004 National (USTCA), Regional (USTCA), Pac-10 Collegiate Outdoor Coach of the Year
Ten top-3 finishes at NCAA Outdoor Championships
Nine-time USTCA West Region Coach of the Year
Ten Pac-10 Championships as a coach
Mentored more than 40 Pac-10 individual champions
Ten-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year
More than 50 All-American honors for Bruin sprinters, hurdlers
Bolden's accomplishments as a collegiate head coach, U.S. Olympic head coach and gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic athlete are unmatched in the world of track and field. As the Bruins' head coach from 1994-2013, she led UCLA to three NCAA team championships -- the 2004 outdoor and the 2000 and 2001 indoor titles. They were the first national indoor track and field crowns - men's or women's - in school history.
A specialist with sprinters and hurdlers, Bolden also mentored four Bruins to six NCAA outdoor individual championships: Nicole Leach (2007/2009, 400H), Monique Henderson (2005, 400M), Sheena Johnson (2003/2004, 400H) and Joanna Hayes (1999, 400H). Since 1994, Bolden has coached more than 50 UCLA All-Americans in the sprints, hurdles and relays.
Under her direction, the Bruins won 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, including eight consecutive from 1997-2004. She is a 10-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year and nine-time United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA) West Region Coach of the Year.
In 2006, Bolden earned one of the highest honors of her distinguished coaching career when she was named head coach of the U.S. women's track and field team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. She was the first head coach in U.S. Olympic history to have won an Olympic medal as an athlete. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Bolden earned a gold medal on the U.S. women's 4x100 relay and placed fourth in the 100 meters.
In Beijing, Bolden led the American women to, at the time, their third-highest medal count (23) in U.S. Olympic history and the most since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Bolden helped coach Dawn Harper (gold, 100H), Johnson (bronze, 400H) and Henderson (gold, 4x400 Relay) to Olympic glory.
On Feb. 13, 2004, Bolden was presented the prestigious C. Vivian Stringer Award, an accolade which is presented to a woman who has experienced outstanding achievement as a coach - exhibiting a high standard of propriety, imagination and innovation as a character builder in the tradition of great teacher-coaches.
Six years later, she was inducted to the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.
Bolden has served on a number of NCAA and track and field boards and has been an assistant coach for the World Indoor and Outdoor Championships. In 1998, she was named the USOC Track & Field Developmental Coach of the Year. In 1994, Bolden served as an assistant coach for the West squad at the Olympic Festival in St. Louis, Mo. and in 2006, she served as the head coach for the 2006 World Cup, which was held in Greece.
As an athlete at UCLA from 1981-83, Bolden was a five-time All-America performer. In 1982, she helped lead the Bruins to their first NCAA Outdoor championship. She graduated in 1983 with a degree in sociology. She served as an assistant for two years before taking over the program in 1994.
Bolden and her family own the famous 27th Street Bakery in Los Angeles. She and her husband, Al, have two children, twins Anthony and Kimberly.