Freeman to be inducted into University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 11:00 pm

Will Freeman, the longtime coach of track and field and cross country at Grinnell College, has been chosen for induction into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. He is one of nine former Gators who will be inducted April 9, 2010, in Gainesville. Freeman was selected based on his accomplishments both while a track and field athlete for the Gators and as a coach after his time at Florida. A successful pole vaulter for the Gators in the 1970s, Freeman won five SEC titles in the event (two outdoor and three indoor) and ranks fifth all-time at the school for number of conference titles won in a single event. Freeman is a two-time school-record holder, Division I All-American and one of 12 finalists in the pole vault at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1976. While successful as a Gator athlete, Freeman has had more of an impact on the sport after his days at Florida. Heavily involved in coaching education at the national level, he is a sought-after speaker and clinician and is the former chair of the USA Track & Field Coaching Education program. Freeman has written four books, published 19 coaching DVDs and many articles in the field. In his 30 years at Grinnell College, his teams have established a record of success that includes 27 MWC titles in track and cross country. Freeman currently sits on the NCAA Track and Cross Country Coaches Committee. "It is a great honor to be inducted into the UF Hall of Fame," said Freeman. "My time at Florida was very special to me. While I was fortunate to have had some individual success in the vault, the thing I am most proud of is that our 1975 team became the first Florida team to win an SEC track and field title." The annual Hall of Fame event is a black-tie affair and televised state-wide. Each inductee will receive a personalized Hall of Fame gold ring.