June 24, 2002
SEATTLE - Washington head track and field coach Orin Richburg announced his resignation Monday. Richburg will continue to work with USA Track and Field, with whom he has held numerous coaching appointments.
"Due to circumstances surrounding the direction the University of Washington track and field and cross-country teams, I will be resigning as head coach of both, effective at the end of my contract," Richburg said, "I am offering my resignation at this time to provide ample opportunity for the University to consider quality applicants for my position."
Richburg, 56, directed four U.S. Olympians, three NCAA champions and 19 Pac-10 champions during his 17-year tenure at Washington. Last year, Richburg was elected by his peers to coach the United States at the 2001 World Championships, the most prestigious honor for a track and field head coach in a non-Olympic year. Richburg directed the Americans to a meet-high 19 medals, including nine golds.
"We appreciate all that Orin has done for the track and field program over two decades," says Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges. "He has had a positive impact on numerous student-athletes during his tenure. On behalf of the entire department, we want to wish him luck in his future endeavors."
Prior to Richburg's becoming Washington's fifth women's track and field head coach, in 1986, Washington had struggled to a 21-25 (.457) dual-meet record in 12 seasons. In the 17 years since, Richburg guided Washington to a 79-32-1 (.710) mark, while establishing himself as the winningest coach in Husky track and field history. As men's head coach, a title he added in 1998, Richburg compiled a 23-12 (.657) dual-meet mark.
Richburg's finest season was 1988, when he directed Washington's women's squad to a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the best postseason finish in school history.
Before arriving at Washington, Richburg spent seven seasons at Kent State, earning Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1980. A fine athlete in his own right, Richburg was a two-sport star at Kent State, earning All-America accolades as a sprinter in 1967, the same year he set a school record with a 98-yard kickoff return for the Golden Flashes' football team.
The search for Richburg's successor will begin immediately.