Clyde Hart

Clyde Hart has coached 566 All-Americans, 34 national champions and nine Olympians who won a total of 13 medals. He plans to retire at the end of the 2019 season.

The king of Quarter-Miler U has decided that it’s time to abdicate his throne.

Clyde Hart, who built Baylor’s track and field program into one of the nation’s most consistent winners, will retire from coaching at the end of this 2019 season. Hart, 85, has coached at Baylor since 1963 – including a 42-year stint as head coach until 2005, when he passed the baton to Todd Harbour. Since then, Hart has held the title of Baylor’s director of track and field, primarily working with the team’s 400 runners, his most prolific area of expertise.

Hart’s health remains strong, and Harbour is fully confident that he “can still coach until he’s 100.” So, why now?

A better question might be — why not?

“You’ve got to stop sometime,” Hart said. “The only reason I hadn’t is because a kid would come along and I’d say, ‘I need to see that one through.’ And my wife (Maxine) said, ‘It’s always going to be that way.’ So I said to her, when Wil (London), the local kid, is done, I’m going to follow Wil and Caleb (Dickson), the two that came out of that class.

“I’m 85 years old and I feel like I could coach another 10 years. But I might not coach another three months. At my age, you don’t know when the end will come.”