Over the past five years, Caryl Smith Gilbert has guided the track and field and cross country programs to conference championships and national prominence. Thanks to a four-year contract extension, she will continue to bring the team to new heights for a little longer.
UCF signed Smith Gilbert to a deal that keeps the four-time Conference USA Coach of the Year through June 2016.
“The track and field program’s continued success both in the classroom and on the track is a testament to the hard-working student-athletes who represent UCF, but it starts first and foremost with its leader,” said Todd Stansbury, vice president and director of athletics. “Caryl Smith Gilbert is a tremendous coach and more importantly, an even better person. She conducts herself and the team with integrity and character. We are happy that she will continue to be a Knight in the years to come.”
Under Smith Gilbert’s guidance in 2012, the track and field team earned its best finish (eighth place) at the NCAA Indoor Championships in school history. UCF won its fourth C-USA title, produced six All-Americans with 13 distinctions throughout the year and capped the season by sending four Knights to compete at the USA Olympic Trials.
Among those Olympic Trial competitors, Aurieyall Scott was one of two collegiate athletes who advanced to the finals of the 200 meters and finished with a school-record performance in the primetime nationally televised race.
She expects the same results off the track and constantly preaches to her student-athletes about the importance of earning their degrees. Since taking over the program, Smith Gilbert has witnessed 61 Knights merit recognition on the C-USA Academic Honor Roll for earning a grade point average of 3.0 or better. In 2012 alone, 18 members of the team earned this praise.
“I am thankful to Todd Stansbury and UCF for the opportunity to continue to lead this program,” Smith Gilbert said. “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish so far, but our work is not finished. I am excited about this season and the many years to come as a UCF Knight.”
For complete coverage of UCF Athletics, visit the Knights’ website – www.UCFAthletics.com.