LSU Gold

Pat Henry Season 2024

Pat Henry
Head Coach
Univ. of New Mexico (1973)

(updated 3/17/04)

25 NCAA Championships

One of the finest coaching minds in the track and field community, Pat Henry enters his 17th season at the helm of the LSU track and field program. Under Henry’s direction, the Tiger program has attained unparalleled success, claiming 25 NCAA titles and 16 SEC crowns. As a university, LSU has accounted for 41 NCAA titles and Henry has served as head coach for over 60 percent of those.

While Henry oversees the direction of the entire LSU track and field program, he is primarily responsible for the men’s sprint and relay events, two areas that have flourished under his tutelage.

In all, the Tigers and Lady Tigers have combined to win an unprecedented 15 national titles in the 4×100-meter relay and eight NCAA titles in the 4×400-meter relay in Henry’s 16 years at the helm. His relays made history during the 1992 season, as LSU became the first school in NCAA history to claim gold in both the men and women’s 4×100 in the same year. Henry’s relay team have since duplicated the feat, sweeping the 4×100 relays in 1993, 1994 and 2003.

While Henry’s coaching accomplishments are legendary, it didn’t take 16 years for people to recognize that he was creating something special at LSU.

In 1988, Henry’s first season in Baton Rouge, he guided the Lady Tigers to the NCAA Outdoor Championship. He then followed that up with two history making seasons.

At the 1989 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Provo, Utah, LSU became the first school in NCAA history to claim both the men’s and women’s national titles in the same year, and Henry became just the third coach in NCAA history to enjoy national championships in both a men’s and women’s sport.

Henry’s teams went on to repeat that success during the 1990 season, as both the Tigers and Lady Tigers won team gold at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Durham, N.C.

1993 was another banner year for the LSU track and field program under Henry as the women won the NCAA Outdoor Championships and the men finished second at the national meet.

The Lady Tigers dominance continued between the 1994 and 1996 seasons as they sweep the NCAA Championships, claiming the indoor and outdoor titles all three years.

1997 proved to be a true testament to Henry’s abilities as he led a young and inexperienced women’s squad to a pair of national crowns against heavily favored teams. The Lady Tigers capped an incredible four-day stretch in Bloomington, Ind., with a 43-point final day outburst, to edge Texas by a single point, 63-62. The finish marked the closest in NCAA history and the Lady Tigers’ 11th consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championship, a streak that still stands as the longest winning streak in the history of women’s athletics.

In addition to the widely recognized success of Henry’s women’s teams from 1988-97, his men’s squads placed among the top-seven in the nation at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in nine of those 10 years. In all, under Henry’s guidance, the Tigers have claimed four national crowns and averaged a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Henry’s success has continued into the 21st century, as in June of 2000, he became only the second coach in NCAA history to reach the 20 NCAA title plateau, guiding his Lady Tigers to an improbable run for the national championship, their 12th in stretch of 14 years. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships the Lady Tigers completed a thrilling final day assault, picking up 46 of their 58 points, to edge out powerhouse USC in the final event of the competition.That same year Henry’s men’s team finished fifth at the outdoors nationals.

In 2001, Henry led his Tigers to their first NCAA Indoor title in dramatic fashion. Needing a win in the 4×400-meter relay to seal the victory, the Tigers demonstrated the character and poise matched only by their mentor, to rally in thrilling fashion to win not only the event, but ultimately the team title.

LSU was just as successful in 2002 as both the Tigers and Lady Tigers each won an NCAA National Championship title. The women took home the indoor crown, while the men concluded the season by winning the outdoor title in front of a home crowd at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

This past year Henry added another remarkable chapter to his already brilliant career as he guided the Lady Tigers to a sweep of the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor National Championships for the ninth time in program history and the first time since the 1997 season. The Tigers were also impressive in 2003, finishing third at the NCAA Indoor Championships and fourth at the NCAA Outdoors.

NCAA Championships do stand out in the annals of LSU track and field; however, Henry still maintains that each year one of his team’s primary goals is to be successful at the SEC Championships. Henry has demonstrated that philosophy as his LSU teams have captured 16 SEC crowns during his tenure. One of the highlights under Henry came during the 1989 season when LSU won all but the men’s NCAA Indoor Championships. The women won both the SEC and NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles, while the men won both SEC titles and the NCAA Outdoor crown.

Under Henry’s guidance LSU has become a benchmark program in the collegiate ranks. However, the accolades haven’t stopped there as many of Henry’s athletes have gone on to experience tremendous success at the international level. In all, LSU has produced 37 Olympians and 38 World Championships competitors since Henry’s arrival, totals that include three Olympic gold medalists and five medalists at the World Championships.

Understandably, for his many accomplishments as a coach, Henry has been laden with numerous accolades from his peers, awards that include multiple national and conference coach of the year honors.

Despite the personal accolades Henry often credits his staff, and the consistency of those in place around him, to the overall success of the program. He believes in the philosophy that each of his assistant coaches essentially serves as the head coach in their respective areas of expertise.

“When a person gives you that freedom to operate, it allows you to do a better job,” said LSU assistant coach Boo Schexnayder. “The message of trust the philosopy sends makes our job easy.”

Henry was able to hone that coaching philosophy prior to his arrival at LSU where he served fours years in the junior college ranks after spending ten seasons at the high school level.

Between 1983-87, Henry molded a powerhouse men’s program at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, that swept both the 1987 NJCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Henry earned both Indoor and Outdoor National Junior College Coach of the Year honors in 1986 and 1987 for his efforts.

Prior to Blinn College, Henry served as head coach at Hobbs (NM) High School, where he led his teams to five state championships.

Henry’s coaching abilities can be traced through his lineage. In 1911 when sprint sensation Gwinn Henry, Pat’s grandfather,was declared the “fastest man in the world,” one reporter wrote, “Unlike most champions, he is not a talker.” It is a trait that has been past down from generation to generation, along with the proficiency for coaching. Gwinn went on to serve as the head football and track coach at Kansas, Missouri and New Mexico, while his son Gwinn Bub followed in his footsteps as an assistant track coach at New Mexico. The Henry’s coaching tradition has continued into the third generation as Pat now leads the LSU track and field program, while brother Matt heads the track and field program at New Mexico and his twin, Mark, serves as his assistant.

A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Henry graduated from Del Norte High School in 1969. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from New Mexico in 1973 and later added a master’s degree in education administration from Western New Mexico in 1979.

He is married to the former Gail Duggin of Albuquerque. They have a daughter Shelly, 28, and a son Brandon, 27, who are both graduates of LSU.

BIRTHDATE: July 22, 1951
HOMETOWN: Albuquerque, New Mexico
HIGH SCHOOL: Del Norte (Albuquerque)
COLLEGE: University of New Mexico – Bachelor’s Degree, 1973;
      Western New Mexico – Master’s Degree, 1979

1988-present: Head Coach, LSU
1983-87: Head Coach, Blinn JC, Brenham, Texas
1973-83: Head Coach, Hobbs High School, New Mexico

2003: NCAA Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year
NCAA Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year
SEC Women’s Co-Indoor Coach of the Year
Louisiana Women’s Coach of the Year
2002: NCAA Men’s Outdoor Coach of the Year
SEC Men’s Outdoor Co-Coach of the Year
2001: Louisiana Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year
2000: Louisiana Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year
1999: Co-SEC Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year
Louisiana Women’s Coach of the Year
1998: Co-SEC Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year
Louisiana Women’s Coach of the Year
1997: Louisiana Women’s Coach of the Year
1996: SEC Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year
Louisiana Women’s Coach of the Year
1995: NCAA Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year
1994: SEC Women’s Co-Indoor Coach of the Year
SEC Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year
Louisiana Coach of the Year
1993: SEC & NCAA Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year
1991: SEC Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year
1990: SEC Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year
1989: SEC Men’s Co-Indoor & Outdoor Coach of the Year
SEC Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year
1988: SEC Men’s Co-Indoor Coach of the Year
SEC Men’s Outdoor Coach of the Year
1987: NJCAA Coach of the Year – (Indoor & Outdoor)
1986: NJCAA Coach of the Year – (Indoor & Outdoor)

1988 2nd 4th 1st 5th(t)
1989 1st 6th(t) 1st 1st
1990 1st 5th(t) 1st 1st
1991 2nd 39th(t) 2nd 6th
1992 4th 5th(t) 3rd 7th
1993 3rd 12th 2nd 2nd
1994 4th 53rd(t) 3rd 6th
1995 4th 14th(t) 3rd 3rd
1996 6th 9th(t) 3rd 7th
1997 5th 10th(t) 3rd 27th(t)
1998 2nd 19th(t) 2nd 4th(t)
1999 6th 7th(t) 5th 9th(t)
2000 2nd 7th(t) 2nd 5th
2001 2nd 1st 6th 5th
2002 4th 3rd 4th 1st
2003 7th 3rd 6th 4th

1988 1st 6th 1st 1st
1989 1st 1st 1st 1st
1990 2nd 11th 1st 1st
1991 1st 1st 1st 1st
1992 2nd 4th(t) 2nd 1st
1993 1st 1st 1st 1st
1994 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
1995 1st 1st 2nd 1st
1996 1st 1st 1st 1st
1997 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
1998 1st 2nd 5th 22nd(t)
1999 1st 2nd 3rd 5th
2000 4th 4th 3rd 1st
2001 4th 14th 4th 6th
2002 3rd 1st 4th 4th
2003 4th 1st 3rd 1st

1. John McDonnell Arkansas Track & Field 26*
2. Pat Henry LSU Track & Field 25
3-T. Paul “Bear” Bryant Alabama Football 6
3-T. Pat Summitt Tennessee W. Basketball 6
5. Skip Bertman LSU Baseball 5
6. Adolf Rupp Kentucky M. Basketball 4
* In fairness to the accomplishments of Coach McDonnell, his total only indicates the number of national championships his teams have won since joining the SEC in 1991.

combined totals in all sports
Arkansas 28*
Pat Henry 25
Florida 16
Tennessee 12
Georgia 12
Alabama 10
Kentucky 8
Auburn 2
Ole Miss 1
Mississippi State 0
South Carolina 0*
Vanderbilt 0
*Indicates totals since joining SEC in 1991