Caryl Smith Gilbert, who just led the USC women to the 2021 NCAA Outdoor National Championship and the men to another top-5 finish, has been named Georgia’s Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks announced Sunday. Smith Gilbert will be the first female head coach of a men’s sports program in the history of Georgia Athletics.
“I am thrilled to welcome Caryl Smith Gilbert to the University of Georgia,” Brooks said. “She is a phenomenal coach, skilled motivator and strong leader who will make our entire program better. Caryl exudes energy and passion that resonates with student-athletes, recruits and colleagues. She leads and coaches with the integrity, tenacity and toughness that aligns perfectly with our mission.”
“Georgia combines elite athletics and academics with outstanding leadership, in a premier athletics conference,” said Smith Gilbert. “When I spoke to Josh [Brooks], I was immediately impressed with his vision and passion for Georgia Athletics and track and field. I’m thankful to President Morehead and Josh for leading the way, and opening doors for women and particularly women of color. It’s an honor to be Georgia’s first female head coach of a men’s sport. I firmly believe we can continue to build upon UGA’s strong program and compete for and win SEC and National Championships. I am excited to get started in Athens.”
Smith Gilbert has spent the last eight seasons as the Director of Men and Women’s Track and Field at USC, building the program into a national powerhouse. This year’s USC women’s squad gave Smith Gilbert her second national title in the last three NCAA Outdoor National Championships, while the men finished in the top-five for the fourth time in the last seven championships under her guidance.