Caryl Smith Gilbert has been named USC’s Director of Track and Field, athletic director Pat Haden announced on Tuesday.
Smith Gilbert succeeds Ron Allice, who retired in early June after guiding the Trojans the past 19 years. Allice led the USC men’s and women’s programs to a combined 25 NCAA Top 10 finishes, including the 2001 NCAA women’s team title, as well as 32 individual NCAA championships.
“We are thrilled to have Caryl join the Trojan Family as our Director of Track and Field for our men’s and women’s programs,” Haden said in a release. “USC has a glorious track and field tradition and Caryl is the right person to build on that tradition. She is more than ready to take on this position.
“She has a superb history of success in her career. She knows how to develop athletes, as evidenced by the steady improvement of her UCF program and the number of records her athletes set. She has recruited very well and knows the recruiting landscape in California. And her athletes have performed incredibly well academically.”
Smith Gilbert was a six-time Conference USA Coach of the Year at Central Florida before taking over the Trojans’ programs.
“This is a tremendous opportunity, a huge opportunity. While it is difficult to leave the program we built at UCF and I will forever be thankful for the support I received there, I am very excited about becoming a USC Trojan. I would like to thank Pat Haden and Dr. Magdi El Shahawy for considering me, talking to me and helping me through the process,” Smith Gilbert, 44, said.
“I know we can win championships at USC and we will be a powerhouse program for both men and women. I am from the West Coast and I look forward to getting back there. The academic and athletic tradition at USC is unparalleled and I plan to continue the tradition of winning and add to the numerous national championships USC has already won.”
A former indoor national record holder in the 55- and 60-meter dashes, Smith Gilbert was a two-time Colorado state champion in the 200-meter dash and long jump and a three-time state champion in the 100-meter dash as a prep standout.
Smith Gilbert went on to become a three-time All-American at UCLA (she graduated in 1991), where she was a Pacific-10 champion in the 100-meter dash, 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay. She was part of an NCAA Championship runner-up 4×400-meter squad and was an All-American in the 4×100-meter relay in 1988 and 1989.