By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
WSSU Announces Revival Of Track And Field Programs
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem State University will revive one of the most storied athletic programs in University history as the Rams and Lady Rams will resume intercollegiate athletic competition in outdoor track and field in the Spring of 2006 according to WSSU Athletic Department officials.
Winston-Salem State University, who at one time fielded one of the most talented track and field teams in the nation, will return to the CIAA track and field competition in the Spring of 2006 after a five-year layoff.
The ultra-competitive CIAA, which already possesses several of the nation’s premier indoor and outdoor track and field programs in Saint Augustine’s College, North Carolina Central University and Livingstone College, will welcome WSSU into league competition next season.
The Rams will bring with them a history of track and field excellence that directly mirrors the success of several other great traditions of track and field which proliferate the conference.
The Falcons of Saint Augustine’s College are one of the nation’s finest track and field programs as SAC’s women’s indoor track and field team captured this year’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field national championship, and the men’s team finished fifth in nation.
The Falcons and Lady Falcons have a total of 26 national championships in indoor and outdoor track and field and boast the coaching excellence of 2004 United States Olympic Track and Field Head Coach George Williams.
Williams, who guided the U.S. Track and Field teams at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece is a legendary coach and is world-reknowned for his ability to identify and develop talent.
Before taking over as the Head Coach of the United States Track and Field program, Williams served as an assistant coach at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and the 1996 Olympiad held in Atlanta, Georgia.
When reached for comment on WSSU’s revival of its track and field programs, Williams issued the following statement:
“This is another great day in track and field and is surely a tremendous day in the history of Winston-Salem State University as the WSSU administration has decided to bring back track and field”, Williams added. “WSSU has a rich history in track and field and has produced several Olympians. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the Rams had one of the best track and field programs in the country, and it is only a matter of time before the Rams return to the glory days of WSSU track and field.”
“We all realize that it will take time for WSSU to return to the level that they once were, but with the support of the administration, that success is assured. I congratulate Chancellor Martin, Director of Athletics, Dr. Caldwell, and the loyal alumni of WSSU on their decision to revive the track and field programs. The United States needs to continue to cultivate collegiate track and field talent in order to continue to field the World’s premier track and field team. This truly is a great day for our sport.”
The decision to revive the track and field programs was one that was made for a variety of reasons, as the Rams and Lady Rams are in the midst of a five-year process to reclassify the athletic program from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I.