Aug. 8, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field program announced the addition of Michelle Freeman as the assistant coach for sprints and hurdles on Tuesday (August 8).
Freeman joins the program after serving as the assistant coach for sprints and hurdles at San Diego State from 2013-17. During her time at SDSU, the program recorded two top-20 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Freeman also coached the 2016 NCAA 100-meter dash runner-up, Ashley Henderson.
During this past season (2016-17), Freeman coached five out of the six Aztecs competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Four of her athletes earned All-America first-team honors and one captured second-team honors. Additionally, she saw her student-athletes set four school records and earn six conference titles over the course of the year.
“We are blessed to have Michelle join our coaching staff,” head coach Bryan Fetzer said. “She brings so much to our programs and will help them improve from day one. I’ve coached the sprints and hurdles for over 20 years but could not feel more confident turning over the group to her. I can see her taking the group to a new level of success.”
Freeman began her coaching career at Texas serving in the capacity of interim assistant coach, a volunteer coach and the team’s strength and conditioning coach from 2000-12. While at Texas, Freeman worked with sprints, hurdles and jumps, while managing the weight training programs.
“I am truly excited about joining the UVA family and its tradition of creating great leaders in life and champions in sport,” Freeman said. “Coach Fetzer has created a winning environment at UVA, and it’s my passion and goal to assist in any way possible to continue the quest to be the best possible representatives of UVA both on and off the track. I consider this an amazing opportunity to work with the best in academics and athletics.”
An accomplished athletic career herself, Freeman is a three-time Olympian (Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000). She earned an Olympic bronze medal with the 1996 Jamaican 4x100m relay team and reached the finals of the 100m hurdles, finishing sixth in the event.
Freeman has competed in nine IAAF World Championships (five indoor and four outdoor), capturing a gold medal at the 1997 IAAF World Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles in Paris and a silver medal in the 2001 indoor championships in Lisbon, Portugal. She also earned a bronze medal in the 100m hurdles at the 1997 outdoor championships in Athens, Greece.
Her additional professional accolades include winning a gold medal in the 100 hurdles at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia. She was named the 1997 Jamaica Sports Woman of the Year and received the Outstanding Performer Award at the Caribbean CARIFTA Games.
Freeman competed at Florida from 1991-92, earning All-America honors eight times. During her two-year collegiate career, she captured the 1992 NCAA champion in the 100m hurdles and was a member of the 1992 4x400m NCAA Championships relay team.
A native of Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica, Freeman has coached four Olympians, 25 NCAA All-Americans and seven individual NCAA national champions over the course of her career. She was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame in 2011.
Freeman will begin her duties on Tuesday, August 15.