Greg Kraft Named Pac-10 Women's Track & Field Coach of the Year
June 19, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - Greg Kraft, the head coach of the Arizona State University track and field program, has been named the 2006 Pac-10 Conference Women's Coach of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Monday. The honor is Kraft's first at the conference level and second coaching award earned in 2006 after leading the women to its most successful campaign in program history.
The 2006 USTFCCCA West District Women's Coach of the Year, Kraft led the Sun Devils to their first Pac-10 Championship crown as the team scored 154 points to edge defending champion Stanford and its 151.5 points. At the meet, ASU had five individual champions crowned, including Jacquelyn Johnson in the heptathlon for the second time, Amy Hastings in the 10,000m run, Victoria Jackson in the 5,000m, Brooke Bennett in the 3,000m steeplechase and Sarah Stevens in the shot put.
The Sun Devils then tied for fourth place at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Sacramento as the women made history by becoming just the second women's program in the history of the NCAA to earn a trophy (Top 4 finish) at each of the national meets. ASU placed fourth at the 2005 NCAA Cross Country Championships before finishing third at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Johnson won her third NCAA title (second heptathlon crown) while Jackson won the 10,000m national title and the team had six athletes earn seven total All-America honors.
During the indoor season, six athletes earned All-America honors, including true-freshmen Stephanie Garnett, as the team finished third in the nation. Johnson won the pentathlon title while Hastings captured the 5,000m run. Combined with the outdoor victories, the Sun Devils posted four individual national championships this year, tying it for the most earned in one season (1990).
The conference accolade is the second in Kraft's coaching career as he also was named the 1996 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Coach of the Year after guiding South Carolina to another successful campaign. With the Gamecocks, Kraft helped the men rise to a conference and national power while also building the women's program from scratch.
In the time the Sun Devils have been members of the Pac-10 Conference, ASU athletes and coaches have combined to earn six awards. Kraft and Leonard Braxton (1994) have both been named women's coach of the year while current student-athlete Jacquelyn Johnson, a three-time NCAA champion, was the 2004 Newcomer of the Year. On the men's side, Len Miller was selected as the 1981 coach of the year while Marcus Brunson (2001) and LaMonte King (1981) were named the men's track athlete of the year.
2006 Pac-10 Conference Awards - Women
Coach of the Year - Greg Kraft (Arizona State)
Track Athlete of the Year - Virginia Powell (USC)
Field Athlete of the Year - Chelsea Johnson (UCLA)
Newcomer of the Year - Nicole Leach (UCLA)
2006 Pac-10 Conference Awards - Men
Coach of the Year - Ron Allice (USC)
Track Athlete of the Year - Robert Cheseret (Arizona)
Field Athlete of the Year - Tommy Skipper (Oregon)
Newcomer of the Year - Kevin Craddock (UCLA)