Caryl Smith Gilbert, a former UCLA All-American, has been hired as USC’s director of track and field, the school announced.
Smith Gilbert, 44, coached Central Florida’s women’s track and cross-country programs the last six seasons. She succeeds Ron Allice, who announced his retirement after the NCAA championships.
Central Florida’s women’s team finished fifth in both the 2013 NCAA indoor and outdoor championships.
“I know we can win championships at USC and we will be a powerhouse program for both men and women,” Smith Gilbert said in a statement. “I am from the West Coast and I look forward to getting back there. The academic and athletic tradition at USC is unparalleled and I plan to continue the tradition of winning and add to the numerous national championships USC has already won.”
Smith graduated in 1991 from UCLA. During her collegiate career, she won Pacific 10 Conference titles in the 100-meters, 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay. Before her stint at Central Florida, she coached as an assistant at Tennessee, Alabama and Penn State.
"USC has a glorious track and field tradition and Caryl is the right person to build on that tradition,” USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said in a statement. "She is more than ready to take on this position.
"She has a superb history of success in her career. She knows how to develop athletes, as evidenced by the steady improvement of her UCF program and the number of records her athletes set. She has recruited very well and knows the recruiting landscape in California. And her athletes have performed incredibly well academically.”
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