AU's Spry Named National Coach of the Year

Auburn, Ala.--A memorable week for Auburn's newest national championship coach became even more memorable on Friday as Ralph Spry was named the NCAA Division I Women's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Spry led the Tigers to the first NCAA track and field championship in school history as the Tigers finished with 57 points. Southern Cal was a distant second at 38.5. It was the largest margin of victory in 10 years at the meet.

"I'm truly honored by this award because it is voted on by your peers," Spry says. "It makes you feel good when you get an award from those who are doing the same thing as you on a day-to-day basis.

"I'm very excited about it, but this goes to the whole coaching staff," he adds. "It's a staff award more than anything. This award should bring pride to Auburn and everyone associated with our program."

Spry, who has coached the Auburn men's and women's team for the past nine seasons, has six top five national finishes as an AU coach. He says next season's men's team should be ready to make a run at the national title, too.

Spry notes the 2005-2006 women's team was a special group. "The team really worked well together and was just a pleasure to coach," he says. "They came to workouts every day ready to work and to get better. I am thrilled for them that they were able to win the championship. It is well deserved."

Seven members of the championship team won All-American honors and Markita James was the champion in the 400-meter hurdles and Jovanee Jarrett won the long jump.

The Tigers set seven school records during the season. Kerron Stewart broke records in the 100 meters (11.03) and the 200 (22.65). Angela Homan set new marks in the 5,000 (16:11.02) and 10,000 (33:25.40). James set a new school record in the 400 hurdles (54.47) and joined with Stewart, Josanne Lucas and Tamara Thomas to break the mark in the 4x400 relay (3:27.93). Ronda Gullatte set a new hammer throw record (195-4).

Toomer's Corner Champions Celebration

2006 Inside the Auburn Tigers Auburn Football Guide

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