Kansas University sophomore sprinter Diamond Dixon and KU assistant track coach Wayne Pate earned national awards Wednesday from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Dixon was named the nation’s female track athlete of the year, while Pate was named the women’s assistant coach of the year.
It is the first time a member of the women’s program has claimed either award.
Dixon, a sophomore from Houston, led Kansas to a runner-up team finish — the best in team history — at the NCAA Indoor, with a national crown in the 400 meters and anchor-leg run of the Jayhawks’ third-place finish in the 4x400 relay (3:33.13).
Pate, who is in his fifth season instructing the horizontal jumpers at KU, saw his athletes score 14 of 30 team points, helping Kansas to the runner-up team finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Junior Andrea Geubelle won the national crown in the triple jump with a collegiate-leading leap of 13.67 meters. Geubelle also took eighth in the long jump, and teammate Francine Simpson claimed sixth in the event.
Pate has claimed the national assistant of the year award three times in the last nine years, also winning in 2003 and 2005 while at Indiana.