Ken Harnden Joins UGA Track & Field as Associate Head Coach

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Ken Harnden Joins UGA Track & Field as Associate Head Coach

Ken Harnden
[su_spacer size=”20″] Two-time Olympian and former NCAA champion Ken Harnden has been named an associate head coach of Georgia’s track and field teams, according to an announcement from head coach Petros Kyprianou.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Harnden will join Don Babbitt as the Bulldogs’ two associate head coaches.  Harnden will coach men and women’s sprints and hurdles at Georgia.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Harnden, a 1996 and 2000 Olympic 400-meter hurdler for his native Zimbabwe, comes to the Bulldogs from Florida State.  In Tallahassee, he coached 20 of the Seminoles’ 36 individual NCAA champions, a feat not matched by any active assistant coach in the country.  Following his time at FSU, Harnden had accepted a similar position at Texas Tech before joining the Bulldog staff.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I would like to thank Petros for bringing myself, my wife Betsy and our two boys to Athens,” said Harnden, who captured the 1995 NCAA 400 hurdle title while at North Carolina.  “We are ecstatic to be here.  Everything we have seen at UGA has been absolutely first-class, including not only the campus and athletic facilities, but also the quality and character of the coaching staffs assembled under Greg McGarity (J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics).
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I was fortunate to be recruited to work at various universities around the country, but the passion and commitment to excellence across all facets of Petros’ program made UGA the obvious choice for me.  I’m confident that the cumulative experience and ‘drive for greatness’ of this coaching staff will result in many championships in the coming years.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Kyprianou views Harnden as another “piece to the puzzle” of bringing championships to Athens.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “We are extremely excited to add Ken to our staff,” said Kyprianou.  “He is an important piece to the puzzle as we build a championship team at Georgia.  Ken’s career has been full of success both as a coach and as an athlete.  I have coached and recruited against him and he is a tireless recruiter that athletes trust and love.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “Ken brings a lot of energy to his athletes and the team as a whole which I am very excited to add to the team this upcoming year.  The coaches and I are ecstatic to welcome Ken and his wife Betsy and kids to our athletic family and are looking forward to great things.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] The most recent of Harnden’s NCAA titles came in June at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., as Florida State’s Kala Funderburk won the 400 crown.  Funderburk won the event coming out of lane eight, which rarely happens on the track.  Also at this year’s NCAA outdoor meet, FSU’s Sage Watson took fourth place in the women’s 400 hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The collegiate records in the 100 and 200 were set by Seminole sprinters under Harnden’s tutelage as well. The 100 record was set in 2011 by Ngoni Makusha, who went on to win The Bowerman Award (track and field’s highest individual honor) that year.  FSU came within one point of a team national title in large part because of Harnden’s sprint group.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The collegiate 200 record set under Harnden was done by one of the most decorated sprinters in collegiate track history, Walter Dix.  Dix was a six-time NCAA Champion and an 18-time All-American under Harnden, and went on to take the bronze medal in both the 100 and 200 at the 2008 Olympics, in Beijing, China.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The three-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) National Assistant Coach of the Year has guided six different student-athletes to 10 seconds or faster in the 100, five student-athletes to 20.30 or faster in the 200 and three student-athletes to sub-45 second times in the 400 while at FSU.   Harden has also amassed more than 100 All-American honors to go alongside the 20 NCAA titles.
[su_spacer size=”40″] His student-athletes are responsible for three of FSU’s all-time top-10 marks in the men’s 110 hurdles, as well as the men and women’s 400 hurdles.  Harnden’s sprinters have four of FSU’s 10 best women’s 100 hurdles marks.
[su_spacer size=”40″] In 2008, Harnden coached Drew Brunson to an NCAA indoor 60 hurdles title and an NCAA fifth-place finish in the outdoor 110 hurdles.  He also guided former Olympian and NCAA All-American Anne Zagre to a school-record 12.83 in the women’s 100 hurdles.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Harnden twice represented his native country of Zimbabwe in the 400 hurdles at the Olympic Games, and was twice a finalist at the World Championships in the event.  He also took bronze at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
[su_spacer size=”40″] An alumnus of the University of North Carolina, Harnden won the 1995 NCAA title in the 400 hurdles as a Tar Heel and still holds the school record in the event.  He also ran on UNC’s national champion 4×400 meter relay that year.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Harnden comes to Athens with his wife, Betsy, and his two sons, Garry and Pierce.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Additional comments from Coach Harnden:

“I would also like to express my gratitude to Coach (Wes) Kittley at Texas Tech University.  He acted as my mentor and friend and conducted himself with tremendous compassion and character.  Texas Tech will continue to be a force in our sport under his leadership.

“I would also like to thank Florida State University, Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox and his staff for the 12 amazing years in Tallahassee.  I was fortunate to coach many championship teams and numerous individual champions while at FSU.  I will continue to cherish the professional and personal relationships made possible from my years as a Seminole.”

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