Connie Price-Smith Elected to USATF Hall of Fame
Oct. 13, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – For her incredible career accomplishments as both an athlete and a coach, Ole Miss second-year track and field head coach Connie Price-Smith has been elected to the USATF National Track & Field Hall of Fame, announced by USATF Thursday.

Price-Smith, who also served as head coach for the Team USA women at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of five members of the 2016 Hall of Fame Class. The others are Butch Reynolds, Buddy Edelen, Al Feuerbach and Frank Zarnowski.

“It’s a wonderful honor and I am both excited and humbled by the thought that I’ve been elected to go into the Hall of Fame,” Price-Smith said. “There are so many great athletes and people that have been put in there, and to stand among them is a wonderful honor.”

In her first season as head coach of the Rebels, Price-Smith guided her teams to unprecedented levels of success. Ole Miss tied the program record with six indoor All-Americans and followed that up with a school-record 13 outdoor All-Americans. The men’s cross country team made its second consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, while the men’s indoor team tied for its best Southeastern Conference finish in school history. One of Price-Smith’s pupils, Raven Saunders, broke the all-time indoor and outdoor collegiate records in the women’s shot put, won the NCAA outdoor shot put title and placed fifth in the Olympics as a sophomore.

Price-Smith is one of the best female athletes in the history of U.S. track and field. With 25 national titles in the shot put and discus combined, Price-Smith owns the distinction of being the winningest USATF female athlete in her events. The Saint Charles, Missouri, native made every U.S. national team from the 1987 World University Games to 2001 World Indoors and is considered the best USA discus and shot put combo athlete of all time.

A four-time Olympian in both the shot put and discus throw (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000), Price-Smith was the first American woman to have a top-10 world ranking in the shot put for five consecutive years (1995-1999). She was the 1995 World Indoor silver medalist in the shot put, is a two-time Pan Am Games gold medalist in the shot (1995, 1999) and added a silver in 1991 and a discus bronze in 1987. Since ending her competitive career, she spent 14 seasons at the helm of Southern Illinois University’s track and field program before taking the same position at Ole Miss. She served as a coach with Team USA at the Olympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Being elected to a hall of fame is nothing new to Price-Smith, though, who has previously been inducted into the Southern Illinois Saluki Hall of Fame (1990), Drake Relays Hall of Fame (2003), Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame (2012) and St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame (2014).

The five newest members will be inducted during the second annual Black Tie & Sneakers Gala in New York City on November 3. 

“This year’s class of National Track & Field Hall of Fame inductees is more than deserving of the highest honor in our sport,” said USATF President Stephanie Hightower. “Each has spent a lifetime sacrificing their talents making track & field a more inspiring dream for those to come. USATF is grateful for their contributions and proud to celebrate them in this way.” 

Inductees will receive a commemorative Hall of Fame ring from USATF during the Black Tie & Sneakers Gala. The ceremony brings together iconic legends and today’s stars to celebrate another successful year of track & field. USATF will also recognize 2016 Legacy Award winners Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Dick Fosbury at the Gala. Tickets, benefiting USATF Elite Mentorship Program, can be purchased at http://usatfgala.com/. To learn more about National Track & Field Hall of Fame, visit http://www.usatf.org/Athlete-Bios/Hall-of-Fame/Track---Field.aspx.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.


 

 

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