Bubba Thonrton
Biographical details
Born(1947-03-09)March 9, 1947
Alma materTexas Christian University
Playing career
Track & Field
Position(s)Wide receiver, Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Accomplishments and honors
  • 5× Big 12 Coach of the Year – Indoor (1999, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013)
  • 5× Big 12 Coach of the Year – Outdoor (1997, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2013)
  • USTFCCCA South Central Region Indoor Coach of the Year (2006, 2007)
  • USTFCCCA South Central Region Outdoor Coach of the Year (2006)
  • NCAA District VI Coach of the Year (1999)
  • 34 NCAA Individual (27) and Relay (7) Championships
  • Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame (2015)

Bubba Thornton (born March 9, 1947) is a retired track and field coach. He coached Texas Christian University ("TCU") from 1982 to 1995 and served as the Texas Longhorns men's track and field coach at the University of Texas at Austin from 1996 to 2013.[1] He is also the former head coach for the USA Track & Field team for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Thornton graduated from Texas Christian University ("TCU") in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. He participated in varsity football and track and field at TCU. After graduating, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 14th round of the 1969 American Football League draft and started as a rookie wide receiver. He began his coaching career at Keller High School where he served as the athletics director and head football coach from 1977 to 1981.[1]

In 1982, he became head coach of track and field at TCU[2] where he coached 72 NCAA All-Americans and his men's team had five NCAA Top 10 finishes (1983, ’87, ’88, ’89 and ’91) and 11 Top 20 finishes. He also coached the TCU team to 39 major relay titles, including five NCAA 400-meter relay championships (1986, ’87, ’89, ’91 and ’95) and the 1983 1,600-meter relay national title.[1]

In 1996, Thornton was hired as the head coach for the men's track and field team at Texas. In 17 seasons, his team finished in the top 15 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships 13 times, including finishing in the top five four times. He coached the UT team to 19 top 10 NCAA finishes and 11 Big 12 conference titles (six indoor, five outdoor) and 1 Southwest Conference outdoor title.[1]

Thornton also served as a coach in the following capacities:[1]

Thornton retired in 2013.[4] He was inducted into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.[5]

School Season Indoor Outdoor[1]
UT 2013 T-23rd 6th
UT 2012 7th T-9th
UT 2011 10th T-12th
UT 2010 T-60th T-17th
UT 2009 10th 20th
UT 2008 3rd 4th
UT 2007 3rd 14th
UT 2006 4th 3rd
UT 2005 70th 8th
UT 2004 4th T-23rd
UT 2003 T-9th T-21st
UT 2002 T-23rd T-9th
UT 2001 T-14th T-15th
UT 2000 14th 14th
UT 1999 5th T-6th
UT 1998 T-24th T-47th
UT 1997 T-15th 2nd
UT 1996 T-14th 5th
TCU 1995 12th
TCU 1994 29th
TCU 1993 T-34th
TCU 1992 22nd
TCU 1991 9th
TCU 1989 20th
TCU 1988 8th
TCU 1987 8th
TCU 1986 3rd
TCU 1985 12th
TCU 1984 15th
TCU 1983 10th

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Bubba Thornton Bio – TexasSports.com – Official website of University of Texas Athletics – Texas Longhorns". Archived from the original on 2013-05-17.
  2. ^ Men's Track and Field Head Coach Bubba Thornton retires | The Daily Texan
  3. ^ Coach Bubba Thornton to retire after 18 years at Texas – Flotrack
  4. ^ Texas Longhorns Athletics - Men's Track and Field head coach Thornton to retire
  5. ^ "Txtfhalloffame". Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-01-15.