AUSTIN, Texas — Former Tennessee men’s cross country/track and field coach Stan Huntsman died this week in Austin, Texas, at the age of 84.
As Tennessee coach from 1971-85, Huntsman led the Volunteers to 31 SEC cross country, and track and field titles (11 cross country, seven indoor, 13 outdoor), including eight straight outdoor championships in his first eight years at Tennessee.
Huntsman led the Vols to their first-ever team national championship in 1972 when the Vols claimed the NCAA Cross Country National Championship. He followed that up with the Vols’ first-ever NCAA Track and Field Championship when the team won the 1974 NCAA Outdoor Championship. He also led Tennessee to top three finishes four times in both the indoor and outdoor seasons as the head coach.
Huntsman won NCAA National Coach of the Year honors six times. He earned the distinction for outdoor track (1974, `76 and `83), indoor track (1981 and `82) and cross country (1972).
“Today, the Tennessee Track and Field/Cross Country program honors the life and legacy of the great Coach Stan Huntsman. Coach Huntsman’s success helped shape our men’s teams throughout his tenure at Tennessee. He led the Vols to two national titles and that impact is a driving force for our current teams. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Sylvia, and his family. He will always be a part of all we are here at Tennessee.”
The Tennessee record book is filled with records broken by Huntsman-coached athletes, many of which still stand nearly two decades after leaving the program. Huntsman’s 31 SEC team titles and 93 wins still lead all Tennessee track and field coaches, with Huntsman chalking up a 93-26-3 (.775) on the oval.
Tennessee honored Huntsman with a plaque at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium. The plaque was dedicated on April 12, 2014.
In his 39 years as a collegiate head coach, he also coached at Ohio for 14 years before coming to Tennessee and coached at Texas for 10 years after leaving Rocky Top, Huntsman developed 41 NCAA individual champions and four NCAA champion relay squads.
Huntsman also enjoyed a fruitful international coaching career. He served as USA head coach for the 1988 Olympics, 1983 World Championships, 1977 World Cup and 2003 World Indoor Championships. He also served as an assistant coach at the 1976 and `80 Olympic Games.
Huntsman was named to the Texas Track and Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, which was set to be inducted in January. He already is a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, USTFCCCA Hall of Fame, NCAA Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Knoxville Track Club Hall of Fame and the Indiana Cross Country/Track and Field Hall of Fame.