Athletics: Ford named the program’s head coach
WACO, Texas – Michael Ford has been promoted to Head Coach of Baylor Athletics, Baylor Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades Announced Tuesday.
“We are happy to announce Coach Michael Ford as the next head coach of our legendary athletics program, “said Rhoades.” Mike has distinguished himself as an outstanding coach and leader at Baylor for more than two decades, while also having an impressive résumé as a Baylor Letterwinner and All-American. ” Athlete. He brings to the role a unique and personal connection to the Baylor experience, a success story at the highest level and a deep commitment to our vision of Preparing Champions for Life. “
Ford has spent 21 seasons on the Baylor team, the first 17 years as an assistant coach and the last four years as an assistant head coach. As a former six-time All-American sprinter for the Bears, Ford mainly worked with sprints, short hurdles and relays. A native of Rochester, NY, he served as the head coach for the US track and field teams at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, and the USA vs. Europe in Minsk, Belarus, in 2019.
“First of all, I want to thank God for guiding me through this process,” said Ford. “Second, I want to thank God Mack Rhoades, Marcus Sedberry, Dawn Rogers and the rest of the recruitment committee for believing in myself to lead our athletics program. I will forever be grateful for Coach’s friendship and support Todd Harbor. Thanks also for all the encouraging words from Baylor alumni, coaches across the country, and past and current student athletes. I look forward to this journey with my staff and student athletes to make Baylor Track & Field one of the best programs in the country. “
Ford has coached several All-Americans in his more than two decades as a coach at his alma mater, most recently Ackera Nugent in the 100-meter hurdles and the 4×100-meter relay of Kavia Francis, Arria Minor, Sydney Washington and Mariah Ayers at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2021. At the Indoor Championships in 2021, he led Nugent to the national championship in the 60-meter hurdles and Francis, Minor, Miller and Lily Williams to All America honors in the 4×400 meter relay.
“We sincerely congratulate Coach Ford on his appointment as head coach of our prestigious athletics program,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “I appreciate AD’s work Mack Rhoades and his team to ensure we continue our commitment to an elite athletics program with a coach who is true to Baylor’s distinctive Christian mission. We know that Coach Ford, his staff, and our student athletes will be great ambassadors for the university in competition, in the classroom, and throughout the Waco community. “
Ford has coached several high-profile Baylor student athletes, including two-time NCAA and 2016-2020 Olympic gold medalists Trayvon Bromell, 17-time All-American sprinter Tiffany Townsend, five-time All-American hurdler Tiffani McReynolds, and eight-time Big 12 Champion Kiana Horton.
Ford was named Assistant Trainer of the Midwest Region of the Year twice (2005, ’06) and twice (2009, ’14) of Assistant Trainer of the South Central Region by the U.S. Athletics and Cross Association of National Trainers.
In January 2008, Ford took on the coaching duties for former Baylor All-American and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner, as well as Olympians Darold Williamson, Reggie Witherspoon and Sanjay Ayre. Under Ford’s leadership, Wariner won the silver medal over 400 meters at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and won a gold medal as an anchor run with the 4 x 400 meter relay. Witherspoon also won a gold medal and ran the third stage in the preliminary round of the 4 × 400 meter relay.
Ford coached Williamson to bronze at the 2007 USATF Indoor Championships, and Williamson won gold as a member of the United States 4 x 400 meter relay at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Ford also coached Ayre for the 400 meter gold medal at the Jamaica National Championships.
As a Baylor undergraduate athlete, Ford garnered six Season All America Honors during his 1997 marketing graduation. In 1996, the 4 × 400 meter relay finished second in the NCAA Indoor Championships after finishing first in the Southwest Conference Championships.
Baylor won consecutive national championships in the 4×400 season in 1995 and ’96, with Ford leading the way. Considered the nation’s best 4 × 400 meter relay prelim, he scored a split time of 45.51 seconds to lead the 1995 Bears national title-winning relay team to a school record of 3: 00.60, the fifth fastest time outdoors in NCAA history, during the preliminary rounds of the NCAA championship meeting.
In 1995 he was a member of the East 4×400 meter relay with bronze medal at the US Olympic Festival. Ford was inducted into the Section V Track & Field Hall of Fame in May 2003.
Ford follows Todd Harbor (2005-21), Clyde Hart (1963-2005) and Jack Patterson (1956-63) as the fourth modern Baylor athletics head coach.
For more updates on the Baylor Track & Field team, follow the team’s social media accounts: @BaylorTrack.