EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- UTEP Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Coach Mika Laaksonen announced that former teammate Milton Mallard will join the track and field coaching staff as an associate head track and field coach. Mallard was a sprinter at UTEP from 1992-1994. Mallard brings over 30 years of track and field experience.
“I am excited about the opportunity being named as the new associate head track and field coach at UTEP,” Mallard said. “I am grateful to Jim Senter, Julie Levesque, and Mika Laaksonen for extending this opportunity to me. I am honored and excited to join the team and contribute to the success of this historic program.
“I am especially excited to be coming back to where it all started for me. I began my college track career at UTEP under Coach [Bob] Kitchens, and I eventually came back to finish up my bachelor’s degree. I have a deep appreciation for the university and the track and field program, and I am committed to helping the program reach new heights.”
Mallard previously coached at Texas A&M on Pat Henry’s staff since 2018. It was Mallard’s second stint with the Aggies after serving in a volunteer assistant capacity during the 2011-12 season.
“I am excited to have this opportunity to work with coach Mallard in moving our sport here at UTEP forward at all levels,” Laaksonen said. “Coach Mallard is a consummate professional of the sport. His experience, connections and coaching skills will be an asset to the program.”
During his time in Aggieland, Mallard coached numerous NCAA and SEC champions. Texas A&M won nearly every men’s SEC outdoor 800-meter title and a majority of the SEC 4x400 relay titles. To be exact, Mallard has mentored 46 NCAA All-Americans, 27 conference champions, nine NCAA National Champions, five Olympic medalists (three gold, two bronze), six World Championship medalists (two gold, two silver, two bronze) and seven USATF National Champions.
“I have a proven track record of success in the sport of track and field. I have coached at both the collegiate and professional levels, and I have partnered with many athletes as they have achieved their highest goals,” Mallard added. “I am confident that I can make a positive impact on the UTEP track and field community and I am eager to get started.”
Most notably he coached Athing Mu, who finished the season a four-time All-American and three-time NCAA Champion. Mu set 11 collegiate all-time top-12 marks, including six all-time collegiate records.
Recently in 2023, Bailey Goggans was an SEC 800m finalist, while Sanu Jallow was an All-American in the 4x400m relay indoor team. Jallow, along with Sam Whitmarsh, were SEC outdoor finalists in the 800m. Whitmarsh ended up being SEC runner-up in the 800. Both Jallow and Whitmarsh were NCAA qualifiers in the 800m, while Jallow made the outdoor 4x400m relay All-American team. James Smith and Bryce McCray were named NCAA outdoor All-Americans in the 400m hurdles, while Smith was also a 4x400m relay All-American.
Mallard also coached the 2023 USA Team U23. He was the NACAC National Team distance coach.
To the start the 2022 collegiate season, Mallard coached Brandon Miller who won the indoor 800m national championship at 1:47.19, becoming the first Aggie in Texas A&M history to do so. Miller also played a role in the national championship 4x400m relay team that ran 3:04.16.
While on the Aggie staff, Mallard was a member of the Texas A&M Aggie commitment team, focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion within Aggie Athletics. He was also a member of TAMU Student-Athlete Experience Committee, being responsible for engaging with student-athletes from diverse backgrounds and various sports.
Prior to getting into coaching, Mallard competed as a professional athlete from 1997 to 2005 and qualified for the 2000 and 2004 US Olympic Trials in the 200m. Mallard ranked among the top 20 in the world in the 200m in 1994, 2000 and 2004. In 2000 he placed fourth in the 200m dash at the USATF Indoor Championships.
Collegiately, Mallard was a Miner from 1992 to 1994, and at LSU (1994-95) following his time in the 915. In addition to five All-America honors, Mallard claimed five Western Athletic Conference titles at UTEP and two SEC titles at LSU. At UTEP, Mallard was the 1994 NCAA runner-up in the 400m. He was also a scoring member of the two top-three team finishes at the NCAA Championships.
In 1992, Mallard earned gold and silver medals in the World Junior Championships. As a prep at North Garland High School, Mallard won a pair of State 5A titles in the 200m and 400m in 1992.
Mallard received his Master’s in Education – Concentration Sports Administration from Concordia University in 2018, and a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies from UTEP in 2011.