Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, USC track and field has reemerged as a force on the collegiate scene.
Under the guidance of Director of Track and Field Ron Allice, the Trojan men are on a run of seven consective top 10 finishes -a feat last accomplished during the late 1960s and early 1970s under Verne Wolfe. Meanwhile, the Women of Troy have finished in the top 10 four of the last five years and in the top five for three straight years - the best three year run in USC women's track history. Last year the men's track team won its second consecutive Pac-10 title and third in four years under Allice. Then, at last year?s NCAA Outdoor Championships, he led the USC men?s team to a seventh place showing and the Women of Troy to second. It was the women's best-ever showing at the NCAAs. In 1999, USC was the only program that finished in the top five in both men's and women's track and field. In 1998, the Trojan men's team finished in seventh place while the women's team finished in fifth place. In 1997, Allice directed the Trojan men?s team to its first Pacific-10 Conference title since 1977 (and 30th overall) before finishing third at the NCAAs. In 1996, Allice guided the USC women?s team to its first-ever Pac-10 title and directed the men?s squad to a 10th-place finish at the NCAAs. And in his first year at USC in 1995, he led the men?s team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAAs.
USC?s past successes in track and field are well known: 28 NCAA men?s championships (including two indoor titles), 61 world records, 91 Olympic team members, 40 Olympic gold medals and 16 inductees in the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame - all encapsuled in 100 years of a rich and storied tradition.
And now, with the second century of Trojan track and field underway, Ron Allice and his staff are hard at work restoring the luster to USC?s most successful athletic program.
Allice, a prep standout at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High, is well known for his ability to win. His overall dual meet coaching mark is 200-38-1 in 33 years at five schools, including 11 state championships in 16 years at Long Beach City College, his previous stop before landing at Troy. Allice?s programs have produced more than 200 All-Americans, plus 20 Olympians, four world record holders and seven American record holders. He has coached at his high school, junior college and college alma maters on the way to compiling his outstanding coaching statistics.
Allice has certainly reached the top echelon of his career, although he has not forgotten the beginnings of his coaching days. In his first coaching job, he guided the Long Beach Comets, a girls? and women?s AAU program, for four years (1964-68), expanding the squad from just five girls to more than 150 competitors. During that time, he was also a graduate assistant at Long Beach State in 1964, an assistant at Compton (Calif.) High in 1966 (the team was second at the CIF championships) and the head coach for track and cross country for two years (1967-68) at Wilson High in Long Beach.
The next three seasons (1969-71), he was the track and cross country coach at Poly High in Long Beach. His track teams went 23-4 and captured the Moore League title each year. His 1971 squad was ranked as California?s top dual meet team and was fifth at the state meet.
Allice was then Cal Poly Pomona?s track and cross country head coach for two years (1972-73). Again, the success he had enjoyed at previous stops followed him ? the Broncos lost only one dual meet, won two CCAA titles (a first in school history) and finished fifth in 1972 and sixth in 1973 at the NCAA College Division championships.
He spent the next five seasons (1974-78) as the track and cross country head coach at Long Beach State. Despite being a new Division I program and having just three scholarships, four of his squads placed among the nation?s Top 15 dual meet teams. He won one Pacific Coast Athletic Association title and his teams finished second twice. Two of his cross country teams won the PCAA crown (two others were runners-up).
In 1979, Allice went to Long Beach City College. During his tenure (1979-94), his men?s teams won the conference championship all 16 years and lost only one dual meet (78-1) in that time. Besides the 11 state crowns (including five in a row), his Vikings had five state runner-up finishes and won 14 Southern California championships (with two second-place finishes). In 1980, his team was selected by Track & Field News as the best junior college team in history. He was named the 1992 Coach of the Year by both the California Community College Coaches Association and the California Coaches Association (CCA). He also coached LBCC?s cross country teams, including the 1990 state titlist and the 1991 state runner-up. He was the 1992 CCA Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Allice?s achievements have not only been limited to the coaching ranks. He prepped at Long Beach Poly High (where he was a CIF finalist in the 440-yard dash), then went to Long Beach City College before attending Long Beach State, where he set the school record in the 440-yard dash. He was inducted into Long Beach State?s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
Allice received his bachelor?s degree in physical education in 1962 and his master?s in physical education in 1970, both from Long Beach State.
He and his wife, Sharlene, have three children: Lance (33, who is a sports and marketing agent as well as a substitute teacher at Long Beach Poly High), Melinda (31, a USC graduate who is a worker in the field of geriatric and special patient care in the Bay Area) and Sean (25, a graduate of the USC School of Cinema who works in film production).
RON ALLICE AT-A-GLANCE