|Alma Mater:||Florida State|
A nationally renowned sprints/hurdles/relays coach, Billy Maxwell retired after 22 seasons at Nebraska in 2017. Maxwell was a critical element to the success of the Husker track and field program over his 22 years and was rewarded in 2015 with a selection to the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame. Maxwell was both the 2014 indoor and outdoor Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year, adding to the honors he received in the 2005 and 2009 indoor seasons.
At Nebraska, Maxwell coached male and female student-athletes who earned 47 first-team All-America awards, 34 individual conference titles and three national championships.
Throughout his coaching career at Nebraska, Texas, LSU and Tennessee, Maxwell was the head coach or an assistant coach on four national championship teams, eight second-place teams and seven teams that placed third. Along with his success at the NCAA Championships, Maxwell was part of 93 conference championship teams.
Under Maxwell’s guidance, Oladapo Akinmoladun achieved first-team All-America honors in the 60m hurdles for the second straight year, and the 4x400m relay team of Levi Gipson, Tanner Townsend, Sam Bransby and Cody Rush won the Big Ten outdoor title and claimed first-team All-America honors with a third-place finish.
In 2015, Akinmoladun won a repeat Big Ten Indoor title in the 60m hurdles while earning first-team All-America honors. Maxwell’s 4x400m relay team (Jake Bender, Gipson, Cody Rush, Drew Wiseman) earned runner-up honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the second straight year, running an indoor school-record 3:04.83.
Maxwell logged an incredible list of accomplishments in 2014, personally coaching one national champion, three first-team All-Americans and four Big Ten champions. Under Maxwell’s training, Miles Ukaoma capped his career with a 400m hurdles national championship and Big Ten championship. Ukaoma went on to represent Nigeria in the 400m hurdles at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maxwell also coached the men’s 4x400 relay team to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships and sixth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The outdoor relay team won the Big Ten title. Indoors, Akinmoladun (60m hurdles) and Gipson (600 meters) took home Big Ten titles under the guidance of Maxwell.
In 2013, Maxwell coached Ukaoma to first-team All-America honors in the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The men’s 4x400m relay team earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Maxwell led the Huskers to two Big Ten titles in 2013, as Nebraska took home the indoor 4x400m crown and the outdoor 4x400m crown.
Under Maxwell’s guidance in 2012, Ukaoma progressed as one of the top competitors in the men’s 400m hurdles. He produced catapulting performances as a sophomore, earning the 2012 Big Ten 400m hurdles title with a personal-best time. Ukaoma went on to compete at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, where he earned second-team All-America accolades.
Maxwell guided NU’s sprint and hurdle squads to prominence once again in 2011. He saw four athletes earn All-Big 12 honors in the 60m hurdles at the indoor conference championship. His athletes combined for four top-eight finishes in the 400 hurdles at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships, while senior Adam Dailey improved his 2008 time of 50.33 with a time of 50.11 to take fourth.
In 2010, Lehann Fourie rewrote the Nebraska record books under the tutelage of Maxwell. During the indoor season, Fourie broke David Davis Jr.’s 2003 record of 7.70 in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.67 at the NCAA Indoor Championships on his way to earning All-America honors. During the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Columbia, Mo., Fourie broke Willie Hibler (1997) and Kirkland Thornton’s (2009) 110m hurdle record of 13.50 with a time of 13.44. Fourie finished the year with All-America honors in the 110 hurdles as well.
The 2009 season was one of Maxwell’s best in recent memory, as his athletes earned three All-America awards, broke one school record, tied a school record, won a Big 12 title and earned five bids to the NCAA Championships. Maxwell had an unheard of seven hurdlers regionally qualify in the 400m hurdles, while another four qualified in the 110 hurdles, including Thornton, who swept the events at regionals. Following the collegiate season, Fourie represented South Africa at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, where he took silver with a then-personal-best time of 13.56 in the 110m hurdles.
For his success in 2009, Maxwell was honored as the Midwest Region Men’s Sprints/Hurdles Assistant Coach of the Year for the second time in his career, after also receiving the honor in 2005.
One of Maxwell’s latest success stories has been Thornton, who transferred to Nebraska from Eastern Illinois prior to the 2008 season and redshirted to take in a year of training under Maxwell prior to competing as a senior. Entering 2009, Thornton had personal bests of 7.83 and 14.27 in the 60- and 110m hurdles, respectively. By the end of the season, Thornton had dropped his times to 7.75 and 13.50, tying the school record in the 110 hurdles. Thornton earned All-America honors in the indoor 60m hurdles, and also in the 110m and 400m hurdles outdoors, becoming the first Husker in school history to be named an All-American in both outdoor hurdles at the same meet.
Since 2004, Maxwell’s athletes have combined to earn 24 All-America awards. Three were crowned NCAA champions and 13 school records were broken or tied. Four of his former Husker athletes competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, with two more competing at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China. Former Husker hurdling sensation Priscilla Lopes-Schliep won the bronze in the 100m hurdles in Beijing for her home country of Canada. It was the first Canadian medal in track since Donovan Bailey in 1996. In 2009, Lopes-Schliep earned the silver at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.
Dmitrijs Milkevics became the first NU men’s athlete to win an outdoor national championship in a running event since 1967, winning the 2005 NCAA title in the 800 meters. Milkevics also broke the collegiate record in the indoor 600 meters at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational.
Lopes-Schliep capped a remarkable 2004 indoor season with her first national title in the 60m hurdles. Lopes-Schliep claimed eight All-America honors in her three seasons training under Maxwell, while Milkevics totaled three. Both athletes concluded their careers in 2005 among NU’s all-time greats, combining for seven school records and seven individual Big 12 championships.
Maxwell also guided former Husker Mark Harrison to his first Big 12 title in his final opportunity in the 400m hurdles during his senior season in 2006, while Nenad Loncar claimed his first Big 12 title in the 60m hurdles during the 2005 indoor season.
During the summer of 2004, Lopes-Schliep, Milkevics and Loncar each represented their countries in the Olympics. Milkevics highlighted the competition with his semifinal appearance in the 800 meters, while former Husker Egle Uljas also competed at the Games. Lopes, Milkevics and Uljas also competed at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005.
In 2003, Maxwell coached David Davis Jr. to a conference title in the 60m hurdles with an indoor Big 12 meet-record time of 7.70. Davis also captured All-America honors in the 110m hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with his seventh-place finish. Maxwell helped develop Loncar’s talent in the hurdles, as Loncar took fourth place at the Big 12 indoor meet and won silver at the conference outdoor championships. Loncar also won silver in the high hurdles at the NCAA Midwest Regional and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where he made it to the semifinals before being eliminated.
Maxwell coached the Husker men’s 4x400m relay team at the conference indoor championships that finished third and gave Nebraska a half-point win over Texas to retain the indoor conference crown in 2003. He also saw Danny Hill and Andy Nelson take third and seventh-place finishes, respectively, in the 400m hurdles at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships the same season.
Maxwell came to the Husker staff after successful stints at several of the nation’s premier track and field programs. In his career, Maxwell has coached 49 athletes who have eclipsed the 14.0 mark in the 110m hurdles and 11 athletes who have broken 50 seconds in the 400m hurdles.
Before joining the Huskers in 1996, Maxwell spent four seasons coaching the sprinters, hurdlers and horizontal jumpers and helped revamp the University of Texas sprint corps. Fourteen of his Longhorn athletes earned NCAA All-America status.
Prior to coaching at Texas, he was the head coach of the men’s and women’s programs at LSU from 1982 to 1987. Maxwell transformed the Tigers from a perennial SEC also-ran into one of the nation’s elite programs. At LSU, he developed 26 NCAA champions and 189 All-Americans, while leading the women’s team to a national championship at the 1987 NCAA Outdoor Championships and a runner-up finish in 1985. He also guided the men’s team to a fifth-place finish at the 1987 outdoor NCAAs. LSU’s men’s and women’s teams finished first in combined NCAA scoring in 1986 and 1987.
Maxwell took over the top job at LSU after a successful stint as an assistant coach at Tennessee (1970-82) under the legendary Stan Huntsman. Working with the Volunteer sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers, Maxwell coached more than 100 NCAA All-Americans, 19 NCAA champions and Olympic Gold Medalist Willie Gault. While at Tennessee, Maxwell also coached two world-record relay teams, including the men’s 4x200m relay team that set a record time of 1:21.30 in 1976, and the men’s 4x110m shuttle hurdle relay team that clocked a record time of 54.40 in 1981.
A native of Cairo, Ga., Maxwell received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State and began his coaching career at Columbia (Ga.) High School. He was named Georgia Coach of the Year in 1967, leading Columbia to two state titles in four seasons before moving to the collegiate ranks. Maxwell is married to the former Kay Shoemake. He is the father of two sons, Emory and Billy.