Record Hurdler Yvonne Scott Values Team Above All Else
The second of nine CU Athletic Hall of Fame profiles as CUBuffs.com celebrates this year's class was inducted at the Coors Events Center's George Boedecker, Jr., Court, on Oct. 30. Scott and the other nine inductees will be recognized during the football game against Washington on Saturday, Nov. 1.
Yvonne Wade, formerly Yvonne Scott, has many fond memories of her time as a hurdler for the University of Colorado track and field team.
None of these memories, however, compare to the ones she shared with her teammates while winning the 1996 Big Eight Conference Championship.
"Of my collegiate career," Wade said. "That was definitely the most memorable and worthwhile experience. The team was great and the coaches were great. To take down the [Nebraska] Huskers after their 16-year winning streak was an amazing feeling, especially on their home track."
Wade was a two-time All-American in hurdles, four-time Big Eight champion, currently holds the school record in the 100-meter hurdles at 12.98 seconds, and is second in school history in the 100 meter dash at 11.68. These personal accomplishments were amazing, but, as Wade admits, winning as a team is much more gratifying: "School records are always great to have and hopefully someone can come in and take those from me; but when you win as a team, you share something that happens once in a lifetime. That's a great feeling."
After her college career, Wade turned professional competing in her home country of Japan (she holds dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Japan). As a pro, she became a six-time Japanese National Champion in the 100-meter hurdles, setting national records in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. Wade was also a two-time Olympian for Japan (1996, 2000) competing in the 100-meter hurdles.
Coaching would prove to be Wade's calling, however. She had two short stints as an assistant coach at Sacramento State and Long Beach State before landing her current position of head coach for a developing UNLV program.
"It's a new era of student-athletes now," Wade said. "At the University of Colorado, I think that we were well-rounded as a team; we had a very strong long-distance crew, good sprinters, and great hurdlers. At UNLV, we're still trying to build that feeling as a relatively young school. We're trying to build that legacy."
Developing a young team into a conference champion requires a coach to use his or her own successes as a teaching tool. With more than half of her current roster at UNLV consisting of underclassmen, she looks for creative ways to inspire her team.
"Being young and being away from home for the first time out of high school (I can relate); now I have to play that role of mentor for a lot of young women," Wade said. "(For me it was) my coach here when I was at Colorado, Yolanda Hall, definitely someone I look up to. My coaching style, now, can be attributed to her, especially her tough love. Having a good relationship with my coach taught me how to be a better coach."
Wade accomplished a great deal in her athletic career with the Buffaloes. School records, conference championships, and All-American selections definitely made her worthy of being in CU's Hall of Fame. But her drive, selflessness, and passion for educating others only cemented the deal.
"It's exciting to walk down the hall of Hall of Famers that I was added to," Wade said. "It's unbelievable to be a part of a great group of Buffaloes. It's something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life."