Nebraska track and field assistant coach Billy Maxwell will be inducted into the U.S.Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame this December, the association announced on Monday.
A nationally renowned sprints/hurdles/relays coach, Maxwell completed his 20th season at Nebraska in 2015. He has been a critical element to the success of the Husker track and field program over the last two decades. Maxwell is a four-time Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year, including both indoor and outdoor in 2014. He will join head coach Gary Pepin, who was inducted in 2008, in the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.
At Nebraska, Maxwell has coached men’s and women’s student-athletes who have earned 42 All-America awards, 33 individual conference titles and three national championships. In his career at Nebraska, Texas, LSU and Tennessee, he has coached 28 NCAA Champions, more than 350 All-Americans, and has been the head coach or assistant coach on four national championship teams, eight second-place teams and seven teams that placed third. Along with his success at the NCAA Championships, Maxwell has been a part of 91 conference championship teams.
"It's a great honor and one of the highlights of my career to sit at the table with all those guys who are great coaches. It's something I'll cherish the rest of my life. I came to Nebraska 20 years ago to work with Gary Pepin and I've really enjoyed my time here. The success we've had here at Nebraska and working with Gary, I'm sure I can attribute that to my being inducted. Gary's not only my boss, he's my best friend, and it's a great honor to work with him and the University of Nebraska. Being from the South, it wasn't easy at first to move up here, but it's been well worth it."
Maxwell coached national champions at Nebraska in 2013 (Miles Ukaoma - 400-meter hurdles), 2005 (Dmitrijs Milkevics - 800 meters) and 2004 (Priscilla Lopes-Schliep - 60-meter hurdles). Lopes-Schliep went on to win the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in the 100-meter hurdles.
In 2015, Maxwell guided Oladapo Akinmoladun to a repeat Big Ten Indoor title in the 60-meter hurdles, as well as first-team All-America honors. Maxwell's 4x400-meter relay team (Jake Bender, Levi Gipson, Cody Rush, Drew Wiseman) earned runner-up honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the second straight year, running an indoor school-record 3:04.83.
Maxwell logged an incredible list of accomplishments at NU in the 2014 season, personally coaching one national champion, three first-team All-Americans and four Big Ten champions. Under Maxwell’s training, Ukaoma capped his career with a 400-meter hurdles national championship and Big Ten championship. Maxwell also coached the men’s 4x400 relay team to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships and sixth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The outdoor relay team won the Big Ten title. Indoors, Akinmoladun (60-meter hurdles) and Gipson (600 meters) took home Big Ten titles under the guidance of Maxwell.
In 2013, Maxwell coached Ukaoma to first-team All-America honors in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The men’s 4x400-meter relay team earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Maxwell led the Huskers to two Big Ten titles in 2013, as Nebraska took home the indoor 4x400-meter crown and the outdoor 4x400-meter crown.
Maxwell came to the Husker staff after successful stints at several of the nation’s premier track and field programs. Before joining the Huskers in 1996, Maxwell spent four seasons coaching the sprinters, hurdlers and horizontal jumpers and helped revamp the University of Texas sprint corps. Fourteen of his Longhorn athletes earned NCAA All-America status.
Prior to coaching at Texas, he was the head coach of the men’s and women’s programs at LSU from 1982 to 1987. Maxwell transformed the Tigers from a perennial SEC also-ran into one of the nation’s elite programs. At LSU, he developed 26 NCAA champions and 189 All-Americans, while leading the women’s team to a national championship at the 1987 NCAA Outdoor Championships and a runner-up finish in 1985. He also guided the men’s team to a fifth-place finish at the 1987 outdoor NCAAs. LSU’s men’s and women’s teams finished first in combined NCAA scoring in 1986 and 1987.
Maxwell took over the top job at LSU after a successful stint as an assistant coach at Tennessee (1970-82) under the legendary Stan Huntsman. Working with the Volunteer sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers, Maxwell coached more than 100 NCAA All-Americans, 19 NCAA champions and Olympic Gold Medalist Willie Gault. While at Tennessee, Maxwell also coached two world-record relay teams, including the men’s 4x200-meter relay team that set a record time of 1:21.30 in 1976, and the men’s 4x110-meter shuttle hurdle relay team that clocked a record time of 54.40 in 1981.
A native of Cairo, Ga., Maxwell received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State and began his coaching career at Columbia (Ga.) High School. He was named Georgia Coach of the Year in 1967, leading Columbia to two state titles in four seasons before moving to the collegiate ranks.
Started in 1995, the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame exists to recognize coaches who have brought great distinction to themselves, to their institutions and to the sports of cross country & track & field. Each of the honorees exemplifies the qualities of dedication to the sport, leadership and passion for their profession that serve as an inspiration to coaches everywhere in the sport.
The induction ceremony will take place Tuesday, Dec. 15 at the annual USTFCCCA convention in San Antonio, Texas and will be streamed live on USTFCCCA.org.
2015 USTFCCCA Hall of Fame Class
Jim Bibbs, Michigan State (TF 1977-1995)
Barbara Crousen, McMurry (TF 1998-2014)
Bob Lewis, Frostburg State (mTF/XC 1970-2001)
Billy Maxwell, Nebraska (asst. 1995-present) / Texas (asst. 1991-1995) / LSU (TF 1982-1987) / Tennessee (asst. 1970-1982)
Don Strametz, Cal State Northridge (TF 1980-2010)
Gary Wilson, Minnesota (wTF/XC 1985-2013) / UW-La Crosse (wTF/XC 1977-1985)