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Winston-Salem State names new track coach

January 18, 2006

Winston-Salem, NC - Winston-Salem State University has named Halcyon M. Blake as permanent head coach for men's and women's track & field and cross country. Black succeeds Benny Morgan who had served as interim coach since the program was revived last summer. Blake began her position at WSSU effective January 17, 2006 and will prepare the WSSU teams for their first season of track and field competition after nearly a five-year layoff.

Halcyon M. Blake

Winston-Salem State University, who has not fielded a track and field team since 2001, will return to the track for their first season of competition this spring (2006) as the Rams have revived a program that, at one time, fielded one of the most talented track and field teams in the nation. The Rams will return to Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) conference track and field competition in the spring as Blake looks to help WSSU capture a CIAA track and field championship in only their first year of competition.

“After having gone through a national search and the interview and selection processes, Halcyon Blake has accepted the challenge of getting the Track and Field program at WSSU off the ground after a nearly five-year layoff as we try to return the program to the prominence of previous years, and as we transition to the NCAA Division I level," said WSSU Director of Athletics, Dr. Chico Caldwell. "She is supremely qualified and will bring a level of coaching and recruiting ability to a program that is beginning its re-development stages. Despite the infancy of our program we expect great things from Coach Blake and her program and we are pleased that we could bring someone as talented and motivated as Halcyon Blake on board as we revive the track and field programs, and take our cross-country teams to the next level.”

Blake comes to WSSU after serving as both the head coach for men’s and women’s cross country/track and field teams at Methodist College in Fayetteville, NC. She has over 24 years of coaching experience. She has coached the Methodist teams to perennial runner-up finishes for the past five and a half years in the Mason Dixon and USA South Conferences. While there she was named Coach of the Year and has produced over 97 All-Conference and First-Team student-athlete honors. Under her tutelage, 10 student-athletes received Academic All-America honors and over 19 student athletes have were recognized on the Dean’s and President’s Lists.

She has seen student-athletes named the South/Southeast Regional Champion in cross country (2005) and the Mason Dixon, USA South Conference Champion in cross country in the same season. On the track she has produced over 18 NCAA National qualifiers and Indoor and Outdoor 55m, 400m Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, 100m and 200m champions as well as both the men’s and women’s Hammer Throw Conference Champions.

Prior to Methodist College, Blake led more than 16 All-Americans while at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her sprinters and jumpers were instrumental in winning the ACC Championship in both the Men’s and Women’s divisions at Clemson University in 1999. Her Men’s 4x100m Relay finished 3rd at the NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho in 1999. While at Carolina, Blake’s sprinters won many ACC Championships as the sprinters and jumpers dominated the conference.

As the mentor of the Pine Forest High School programs in Fayetteville, NC, Blake’s teams have won State, Regional and Conference Championship titles.

As an athlete, Blake attended The University of Kansas where she excelled as a Sprinter and Long Jumper. A three time Olympian, she had the women’s long jump named after her in 1995 at the Kansas Relays. She won the Triple Crown at Texas, and Drake and the Kansas Relays from 1981-1983. She is an 11-time All-American in the 4x400mRelay and Long Jump. She still holds the women’s long jump record at the University of Kansas and the Kansas Relays. In 2003, she was inducted in the John F. Kennedy High School Hall of Fame and the New State Public Schools Athletic League November, 2003.

She is a certified USATF Coach, a member of NACWAHERS foundations, a member of the NCAA coaches foundation, a member of the North Carolina HS Athletic Association, a graduate of the Women’s Coaches Academy, a member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, a member of the Black Coaches Association, and has coached nine former or current Olympians and continues to be a mentor to elite athletes.

Blake is a graduate of the University of Kansas in Applied Behavioral Science/Human Development and Family Life. Blake was chosen as the Rams’ and Lady Rams’ head track and field and cross-country coach following a national search that produced a very diverse, and very qualified pool of candidates.

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