Pat Henry, now in his 11th season as head coach of the Texas A&M track and field program, became the first coach to lead a school to three consecutive men's and women's NCAA Outdoor Championships when the Aggies accomplished the feat during the 2009-2010-2011 seasons.
In 2013, the A&M men claimed their fourth NCAA Championship while the Aggie women achieved a fourth NCAA Championship in 2014.
Twice the Aggie men have placed second the NCAA Indoor (2010 & 2011) while the A&M women have finished fifth four times indoors (2010, 2011, 2012 & 2014) after placing second at the NCAA Indoor in 2009.
With eight NCAA Championships in his time at Aggieland, Henry's total number of national titles has reached 35 on the Division I level. In addition, Henry also claimed a pair of national titles on the NJCAA level while coaching at Blinn College in Brenham.
While Henry is currently third among all-time national team titles as a NCAA head coach. he has achieved the most championships for indoor and outdoor track and field national titles. The all-time list is topped by Kenyon College's Jim Steen, who has 50 NCAA titles in Division III swimming and diving, while Arkansas' John McDonnell collected 40 NCAA titles between cross country (11) and track (29).
In addition to winning eight national team titles over a six-year span with the Aggie program, the A&M men won its first ever Big 12 Indoor championship in 2011, which marked the first conference indoor title for A&M since a Southwest Conference title in 1980. Then the Aggie men set a conference record of 175 points to win the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor championship as A&M claimed its first Big 12 Outdoor title since 2001.
Texas A&M men repeated the double sweep of conference titles in 2012, their last season in the Big 12.
Meanwhile, the Aggie women achieved their fifth consecutive Big 12 Outdoor championship in 2011 and were runner-up at the Big 12 Indoor, after winning four straight titles from 2007 to 2010. In 2012, the A&M women won their final Big 12 Indoor and placed third at the outdoor conference meet.
In 2013, with the Aggies in their first season competing in the SEC, the A&M women won the outdoor conference title while the men placed third. Both teams finished third during the SEC Indoor meet. In 2014 the Aggie men claimed the SEC Outdoor team title while the women were third. Hosting the SEC Indoor meet in 2014 the A&M women finished second and the men were third in team scoring in front of a home crowd at Gilliam Indoor Stadium.
In 2011, Texas A&M became the first Big 12 school in five years to sweep both conference outdoor team championships. In addition the Aggies swept all four relay events during the Big 12 Outdoor meet, a first for any Big 12 school in the 15 year history of the league.
Texas A&M won their third consecutive set of NCAA titles in Des Moines, Iowa in June 2011 with the outcome decided for each team championship in the meets final event - the 4 x 400 relay. A&M became just the third school to win both the men's and women's 4 x 400 relays at the same NCAA Outdoor meet.
The Aggie women won in a school record 3:26.31 as Jessica Beard anchored the effort in 49.13 seconds, the fastest split ever recorded at the NCAA Championships. In the men's 4 x 400 a winning time of 3:00.62 just missed the school record of 3:00.45 established by the Aggies at the Texas Relays earlier in the season.
In winning three straight national championships, the A&M men have won their titles by the narrowest of margins - 2009 (2 points, 48-46 over three other schools), 2010 (1 point, 55-54), 2011 (1 point, 55-54). Meanwhile, the women enjoyed slightly better margins in 2009 (50-43) and 2010 (72-57), but were only four points (49-45) ahead for the 2011 championship.
The success A&M has enjoyed under Henry and the goals they have achieved stem from the strength of the program in the coaching staff that has been in place the past seven years along with the depth and quality of the athletes involved.
Hiring good assistant coaches, who work hard in each aspect of the sport, has been a proven formula for Henry.
"As a staff we pride ourselves on having an overall team success concept," Henry said. "We continue to develop a program that is broad-based by getting good athletes in all events in both genders."
Henry established LSU as the pre-eminent track and field program in the country while he was there by winning 27 team NCAA championships with numerous team titles coming on both the men's and women's sides.
In 1989, Henry became the first coach in NCAA history to win both men's and women's track and field national championships at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In 1990 his LSU squad repeated the feat and Henry was the only coach to claim consecutive double NCAA titles until he achieved the accomplishment again at Texas A&M in 2009 and 2010.
In the past nine years, Texas A&M has had an individual or relay claim a NCAA title each season.
RECENT NCAA CHAMPIONS
2005 - Fabrice Lapierre, long jump
2006 - Clora Williams, 400 meters
2007 - Women's 4 x 100 relay
2008 - Simone Facey, 200 meters; women's 4 x 100 relay
2009 - Porscha Lucas, 200 meters, women's 4 x 100 relay (collegiate record)
2010 - Curtis Mitchell, 200 meters; Porscha Lucas, 200 meters; women's 4 x 100 relay; men's 4 x 400 relay
2011 - Jessica Beard, 400 meters; women's 4 x 400 relay, men's 4 x 400 relay
2012 - Ameer Webb, 200 meters; Natosha Rogers, 10,000 meters
2013 - Wayne Davis II, 110 hurdles; Sam Humphreys, javelin; Ameer Webb, 200 meters (indoor & outdoor); women's 4 x 100 relay
2014 - Kamaria Brown, 200 meters; Deon Lendore, 400 meters (indoor & outdoor); Shamier Little, 400 hurdles; women's 4x100 relay; men's 4x400 relay; Shelbi Vaughan, Discus; Brea Garrett, indoor weight throw.
After serving as head coach of the U.S. men's national during the 2006 World Cup in Athens in Athens, Greece, Henry embarked on a larger role as an international coach when he served as head coach of the U.S. men's national team during the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan.
Overwhelming success from the U.S. men's team led to a record 10 gold medals, bettering the previous best of nine set during World Championships in 1991 and 2005. In addition the U.S. men's team totaled 19 medals, the best tally by the United States since the 1991 World Championships.
An essential part in developing and maintaining a strong program is having the facilities to train the athletes. For the past three years A&M has enjoyed hosting meets in one of the finest indoor track and field complexes in the country. The Gilliam Indoor Track has already hosted two NCAA Indoor Championships (2009, 2011) and will host a second Big 12 Indoor Conference meet after hosting one in 2009.
Henry closed his time at LSU in the 2004 season by making it the first school in NCAA history to sweep the men's and women's national team crowns at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
In overseeing the direction of the LSU track and field program, Henry always worked with sprinters. He was primarily responsible for the men's sprint and relay events, two areas that flourished under his guidance. During the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, there were 15 Olympians competing who came through the LSU program.
In all, the Tigers and Lady Tigers combined to win an unprecedented 16 national titles in the 4 x 100 relay and nine NCAA titles in the 4 x 400 relay in Henry's 17 years at the helm. Tiger relay squads made history during the 1992 season, when LSU became the first school in NCAA history to claim gold in both the men's and women's 4 x 100 in the same year. Henry's relay teams duplicated the feat several times, sweeping the sprint relays in 1993, 1994 and 2003.
While Henry's coaching accomplishments are legendary, it didn't take 17 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.
The Lady Tigers dominance continued between the 1994 and 1996 seasons as they swept the NCAA Championships, claiming the indoor and outdoor titles all three years.
The year 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 NCAA Division I 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 Tiger men claimed five national crowns and averaged a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Henry's success continued into the 21st century, as in June of 2000, he became only the second coach in NCAA Division I history in any sport to reach the 20 NCAA title plateau, guiding his Lady Tigers to an improbable run for the national championship, their 12th in a 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 USC in the final event of the competition. That same year, Henry's men's team finished fifth at the outdoor national meet.
In 2001, Henry led his Tigers to their first NCAA Indoor title in dramatic fashion. Needing a win in the 4 x 400 relay to seal the victory, the Tigers demonstrated the character and poise matched only by their mentor. Rallying in thrilling fashion won the event, and ultimately the team title.
LSU was just as successful in 2002 as both the Tigers and Lady Tigers each won a 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, one of the highlights of Henry's career.
In 2004, 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 Outdoor meet.
The Tigers were able to consistently compete for national championships, while also focusing on winning the conference title. Henry demonstrated that philosophy as his LSU teams 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 became a benchmark program in the collegiate ranks. However, the accolades didn't stop there as many of Henry's athletes went on to experience tremendous success at the international level. In all, LSU produced 37 Olympians and 38 World Championship competitors during the Henry era, totals that include three Olympic gold medalists and six medalists at the World Championships.
Prior to his time at LSU, Henry molded a powerhouse men's program in four seasons 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. Preceeding his time at 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 passed down from generation to generation, along with the proficiency for coaching. Gwinn, a native of Eden, Texas, 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 continued into the third generation with Pat and his two brothers. Matt served as head coach of the track and field program at New Mexico for seven years while Matt's twin, Mark, served 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 a master's degree in education administration from Western New Mexico in 1979.
Henry is married to the former Gail Duggin of Albuquerque. They have a daughter and son-in-law, Seth and Shelly Daigle, as well as a son and daughter-in-law, Brandon and Brandie Henry. Pat became a grandfather in 2005 with the birth of Katie Ruth Henry to Brandon and Brandie. A second grandchild arrived in 2006 when Shelly gave birth to Avery. A third grandchild, Morgan, was born in February of 2007 for Brandon and Brandie.