FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas men’s assistant track and field coach Dick Booth will not return for another season with the Razorback men’s track and field coaching staff, Arkansas men’s head track and field coach Chris Bucknam announced on Thursday.
Booth recently completed his 27th season as the field events coach at Arkansas. He worked for 26 years under former coach John McDonnell in two different tenures from 1978-84 and 1988-2008 helping the Razorbacks to an unprecedented number of national triple crowns and a record number of national and conference championships. He remained on staff for Bucknam’s first season with the program in 2008-09, a season which included both an SEC Indoor and Outdoor team championship.
"When I first was hired at Arkansas and was assembling my staff, Dick and I talked about his future with Razorback Track and Field," Bucknam said. "We decided that as we moved forward we would evaluate if our coaching philosophies and approaches were a good fit for each other and our transitioning program. Following the season as I considered the continued evolvement of the program, I decided this would be an appropriate time to move in a different direction within our coaching staff.
"There is no question that Dick Booth is one of the outstanding field event coaches in the country. He was a contributor to the success we enjoyed this season and certainly was instrumental in the great successes of the past."
During his time at Arkansas, Booth worked with athletes to help them claim 45 individual national championships and 137 All-America honors. He coached or recruited every field event record holder in Razorback history. Additionally he has coached 11 Olympians.
Last season, Booth coached 2009 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Field Event Athlete of the Year Alain Bailey and SEC Outdoor Field Event Freshman of the Year Tarik Batchelor. He also coached seven-time All-American and five-time SEC Champion Nkosinza Balumbu who captured the 2008 NCAA Indoor Triple Jump Championship.
"I recognize the head coach of any program has the right and ability to shape his coaching staff as he feels is appropriate," Booth said. "In this instance, Coach Bucknam felt like a change on the staff was the direction he wanted to move.
"I have been blessed to be a coach in the Razorback program for 27 seasons. In that time, I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of Razorback student-athletes whose hard work and commitment resulted in extraordinary team and individual success. I am proud to have been a part of the great tradition of Razorback Track and Field."