Hadnot claims first team All-America honors with third place finish
Consistency is key when establishing a winning formula and for over 30 years, Gary Stanley has consistently fielded winning track and field programs at Louisiana Tech.
The 2012 campaign marks Stanley's 24th year as head coach at LA Tech. During that span, Stanley has guided the Bulldog and Lady Techster track and field programs through four different conference affiliations and a bevy of national landscape changes but the constant factor throughout that time span has been LA Tech continuing to win championships.
In over three decades in Ruston, Stanley has amassed 21 Coach of the Year titles by his conference peers and won 19 conference championships in four different leagues as a head coach. When he was an assistant coach, Tech won another two conference titles to bring Stanley's overall trophy haul to 21 conference championships.
The most recent string of success has been a dominating women's program that has won 13 of the last 14 Western Athletic Conference championships including seven consecutive outdoor titles. The Lady Techsters have laid claim to the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 WAC Outdoor Championships and the 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 WAC Indoor Championships while the men continuously challenging for the top as well.
Four different conferences have bestowed the coach of the year honor on Stanley including the Southland, American South, Sun Belt and Western Athletic Conferences.
Stanley's long and illustrious career in Ruston began in 1982 when he started his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant fresh off coaching a Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A state championship at Bonnabel High School in 1980.
He coached John Ratcliffe at Bonnabel High School as the future Tech star set the Louisiana state record in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:12, a mark that still stands today. Ratcliff then ran an astounding 8:53 in the 3,200m at a national high school postseason event before going on to have a stellar career as a Bulldog.
In 1984, Stanley was promoted from graduate assistant to a full-time assistant coach. Also in that year, he was given the reigns as the head coach for the cross country program here at Tech. Two years later, he guided Tech's men to a Southland Conference cross country title.
Stanley, after being a district champion in the mile and being crowned the city of New Orleans Cross Country Champion while at East Jefferson High School, went on to letter one year at Pensacola Junior College and three years at Southeastern Louisiana. His honors include the 1970 New Orleans cross country city champion, 1972 Southern AAU three-mile champion, 1973 Southern AAU one-mile champion, 1975 U.S. Track and Field Federation all-regional cross country and the 1975 LSU Invitational three mile champion.
One of Stanley's highlights was helping lead SLU to its only conference cross country championship in 1973 while finishing eighth overall in the race. Stanley attributes his success to the guidance of former head coach Jerry Dyes during his six-year assistant position under Dyes.
"Coach Dyes was the greatest coach I've ever been around," said Stanley. "He was so instrumental in my growth as a young assistant."
After serving six years as a full-time assistant in Ruston, Stanley was named the head coach at Louisiana Tech in 1988. Since then, his program has become one of the best and most consistent on the Louisiana Tech campus and throughout the state in track and field.
Prior to the team's WAC title winning streak, Tech's biggest team achievement under Stanley's guidance came at the national championships in 1999 with the women's team finishing 17th in the country in 1999 at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Boise, Idaho, ahead of national powerhouses Tennessee, Michigan and Miami.
The women's team finished 10th at the NCAA Mid-East Regionals in 2004 with 22 points, placing the Lady Techsters second in the state behind LSU and ahead of national elite programs like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue and Ole Miss.
The Lady Techster 4x400m relay teams in 2007 claimed All-America honors both indoors and outdoors with the outdoor relay finishing third in the nation.
Stanley's expertise with distance runners has led Tech to qualify runners in every event at nationals from the 800 meters to the 10,000 on the men's side. LSU is the only other track program in the state to accomplish such a feat.
In the past 35 years, the WAC holds an impressive 18 national titles in track and field, meaning Stanley has faced a tough task of making Tech competitive among the nation's best track and field squads.
After more than a decade in the WAC, Stanley has shown that his Tech program not only belongs but sets the standard. Stanley has rebuilt the women's program from the bottom of the league to a perennial powerhouse that needs no introduction while the Bulldogs have emerged from the basement of the league to the top three with hopes of winning it all soon.
Coach of the Year Honors (21) 1986 Men's Cross Country Southland 1990 Men's Cross Country American South 1990 Men's Indoor American South 1990 Men's Outdoor American South 1991 Men's Indoor American South 1999 Men's Indoor Sun Belt 1999 Women's Outdoor Sun Belt 2000 Women's Indoor Sun Belt 2004 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2005 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2005 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2006 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2006 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2007 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2008 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2009 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2009 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2010 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2010 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2011 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2011 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic
Conference Championships (19) 1986 Men's Cross Country Southland 1990 Men's Cross Country American South 1990 Men's Outdoor American South 1999 Men's Indoor Sun Belt 1999 Women's Outdoor Sun Belt 2000 Women's Indoor Sun Belt 2005 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2005 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2006 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2006 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2007 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2008 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2008 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2009 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2009 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2010 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2010 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic 2011 Women's Indoor Western Athletic 2011 Women's Outdoor Western Athletic