NORMAN – Tim Langford, who was named the interim head coach of Oklahoma’s men’s and women’s track and field and cross country programs last August, has formally been named to the position. OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione made the announcement today that the interim tag has been removed from Langford’s title.
“During the interim period, we saw Tim both stabilize and build our program,” Castiglione said. “He led us to positive steps forward during the cross country and indoor track and field season and we are confident that he can continue the forward movement. Tim has been a head coach, has been involved with all facets of running a program and excels in engaging with student-athletes. We’re excited about this appointment and anxious to support Tim and his staff.”
Langford, who formerly served as the head coach at South Carolina State and was nominated last season as the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Indoor Head Coach of the Year, appreciates this opportunity and the leadership he has experienced at OU.
“I feel truly honored to serve the university in this capacity,” Langford said. “I’m grateful for the leadership and vision that Joe Castiglione models for our department. To receive his support in removing the interim head coach tag and to be confirmed as the head coach of this program is priceless.”
Langford’s goals are to produce champions, but not on the track alone.
“My immediate goals are to continue to work with the staff to produce both graduates and champions,” he said. “We will recruit and develop student-athletes in our program that will make a significant impact in the Big 12 Conference and on the national level. Our team has shown resiliency, both during my transition and during this health crisis. The stability of my position will help attract top-tier athletes and provide our returners with peace of mind.”
Langford led the OU men’s and women’s track and field squads to a successful 2020 indoor season, including 49 event victories, two individual Big 12 titles, three school records, four NCAA indoor qualifiers and multiple conference and national accolades.
Under Langford's leadership, OU's men's and women's teams claimed fourth and fifth place, respectively, at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, while senior Jackson Webb (60m dash) and freshman Lavinja Jurgens (high jump) claimed individual Big 12 titles. Jurgens was also named Big 12 Women's Outstanding Freshman of the Year.
Additionally, the 2020 indoor campaign saw school records from freshman Mikeisha Welcome and junior Essence Thomas in the women's triple jump and sophomore Kristo Simulask in the men's heptathlon. Welcome's record outing earned her USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week honors on Dec. 17, while Thomas earned a pair of Big 12 Athlete of the Week accolades during the season.
Jurgens, Welcome, Thomas and Simulask all qualified for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships, but the season was cut short just a day before the Sooners were set to open competition.
Langford knows that the building of a strong foundation requires goals, planning and hard work, but he sees bright days ahead for the program.
“I see loads of opportunity for success in our programs,” he said. “Continuing on our strategic plan and vision to become a national contender is our primary goal. The coaches are committed to attracting the best talent in the world. Our institution is first-class in every way. And with alumni, fan and administrative support, I plan for our programs to be the same.”
At SCSU, Langford helped the Bulldogs produce four NCAA indoor and outdoor All-Americans, 28 regional qualifiers and one NCAA indoor national champion in Tyrell Richard in the 400 meters in 2019. Additionally, he served as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference track coaches' committee vice chair.
A 2000 graduate of Radford University, Langford was an all-conference honoree in the high jump, triple jump, long jump and 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays, as well as a back-to-back Big South conference champion in the high jump in 1998-99.
Following his successful collegiate career, Langford joined the coaching ranks and made stops at High Point University and Charleston Southern. As head men's track and field and cross country coach at Charleston Southern, Langford helped develop nine NCAA Championship qualifiers, three All-Americans and collected four Big South Track Coach of the Year honors. In 2010, he was a nominee for USTFCCCA Southeast Region Indoor Men’s Head Coach of the Year.
Langford’s appointment is pending the approval of the OU Board of Regents.