|| Rolando Greene
Associate Head Coach
Associate head coach Rolando Greene begins
his eighth season with the University of Arkansas in 2003. Charged with
handling the sprint, hurdle and jump corps for the Lady Razorbacks, Greene
brings a world-wide recruiting base and a keen eye for spotting and developing
After a summer that afforded him the opportunity
to garner international experience as an assistant track coach for the
Bahamian National Team at the North America, Central America and Caribbean
games, Greene came back to Arkansas and had one of the most successful
recruiting classes ever. Bringing in a wealth of talent, Greene hopes
that the 2004 season can bring more track and field titles back to Fayetteville.
Promoted to associate head coach in the spring
of 2000, Greene had an immediate impact once he arrived in Fayetteville
in 1996. At the SEC Outdoor that spring, the Lady'Backs scored a program-high
point total from the hurdles. A prime example of his coaching was when
a 14.5-second 100-meter high school hurdler shattered the 16-year-old
school record by midseason, finishing at 13.67.
The improvement shown was no fluke. Over the
past seven seasons, Greene's sprinters have set 18 school records in the
sprints, hurdles, jumps and relays and now own nearly every Lady Razorback
sprinting record in the book.
One of the most elusive records was Shannon
Carter's 400-hurdles mark of 57.85, set in 1992. Tawa Babatunde had a
breakthrough season in 1999, posting just her second career sub-minute
hurdles time in mid-April, but after that rattled off five consecutive
marks below one minute with a best of 58.18 at the conference championship.
In 2000, Babatunde was rocking and rolling as she shattered the Arkansas
record, qualified for the NCAA Championships and placed a mark good enough
to qualify her for the Canadian Olympic team. Babatunde broke Carter's
mark twice as a junior, then broke her own mark as a senior, lowering
the time to an awe-inspiring 56.99.
To further emphasize Greene's effect, former
Lady'Back Elisha Brewer had an amazing senior season in 1998. She set,
or took part in, six Arkansas records that year, including the indoor
200 meters, the outdoor 100 and outdoor 200 meters. Brewer also took the
100-meter hurdles record while competing at the USAT&F Nationals finishing
the race in fourth place with a time of 12.98 to become an alternate to
the U.S. team that competed in the Goodwill Games that summer.
Not only able to make his athletes improve
in the long term, Greene has made some good athletes much better. Kyla
Shoemake, a junior college transfer, obliterated any record that was previously
held by a Lady'Back in the 55-hurdles when she ran 7.63. Shoemake improved
so much under Greene in her first year that she posted 13 times better
than the old Arkansas record.
Also showing vast improvements in her first
year was junior college transfer Angel Heath. Heath began her junior year
slowly as she adjusted to Greene's style and coaching techniques, but
came up big when the light was brightest at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
In that competition, Heath leaped to an awe-inspiring 20 feet, eight inches,
to finish second overall. Her jump would have broken the UA school record
had she not bested the mark a week earlier at 20-9. As a senior, Heath
was once again on her marks when the light was brightest and she posted
another school record in the long jump at 20-11.25 at the conference championship,
the third-best mark in the NCAA last season.
While Greene's expertise in individual events
is obvious, he has also helped relays and the multi-events. Greene's sprinters
eclipsed all three of Arkansas' relay records by a total of more than
seven seconds, the most impressive of which was the 1998 400-meter relay
that posted five times under 45 seconds and broke the old Arkansas record
by one-and-a-half seconds, finishing with a best mark of 44.15. In the
4x400 relay, Greene put together a squad during the 2000 season that dropped
the bar by nearly three seconds from the school's best and improved by
another three seconds in 2001 to set the standard at 3:35.50. The record
fell yet again in 2002 to 3:35.36 as the Lady Razorbacks gave the national
champions from South Carolina everything they could handle at the SEC
Working with the multi-event personnel, Greene
helped coach three all-American athletes in the heptathlon. The three
all-Americans have broken or tied every Lady Razorback heptathlon record
and in 2000 the tandem of Gi-Gi Miller and DeeDee Brown became the first
teammates in NCAA history to eclipse the 5,700-point mark for the event.
Miller was also the U.S. Championships runner-up with 5,925 points and
SEC champion in the heptathlon in 2001 and the 2000 NCAA national runner-up.
Her second-place finish at the U.S. Championships qualified Miller for
the World Championships, but she elected to travel to Beijing, China,
to compete at the World University Games. Brown won a pair of SEC Championships,
one in the heptathlon in 2000 and the second in the pentathlon in 2002.
Not just a sprint-minded individual, Greene
uses his own personal experiences in the horizontal jumps to aid his athletes.
Through Greene's influence, Miller not only set school records in the
heptathlon but also in the triple jump where she flew to a mark of 44
feet 7.5 inches to break her own school record outdoors. Indoors, she
bounded to a distance of 44-4, crushing the 10-year-old record of Cynthia
Moore by two feet. Her indoor record won Miller the NCAA Championship
in the event.
The unassuming Greene shrugs off credit, but
the changes at Arkansas are typical of his work. Prior to arriving in
Fayetteville, Greene was an assistant coach with the Minnesota Golden
Gopher's women's track team in 1996 after six years as the assistant men's
and women's track coach at Southwest Missouri State.
At SMS, Dedra Davis, an average prep jumper,
flourished with Greene. She was fifth at the 1994 NCAA Outdoor Championships,
seventh indoors and was a provisional qualifier in the 55 meters. A member
of the Bahamian Olympic Team in 1992, Davis is one of five recent Olympians
to train with Greene.
Arkansas' sprinting expert also took another
former Bear to alternate statuse for the Olympic Games when Melinda Sallins
earned a spot at the '96 Olympics by cruising to a mark of 56.30 in the
Greene also had an outstanding personal track
career, earning all-Ohio Valley Conference honors at Murray State, graduating
in 1989 with his bachelor's degree in political science with an emphasis
in criminal justice. He has nearly completed his masters degree in public
administration at SMS. A two-time OVC champion in both the long and triple
jump, Greene was fifth for the Bahamas in the Junior Pan-Am Games as a
A native of Nassau, Bahamas, Greene is married
to former Lady Razorback LaTayna Stewart, who ran in the early '80s. They
have a daughter, Charisse, 17, and two sons, Cameron, 7, and Isaiah, 3.