For over five decades, an exceptional individual influenced the track and field world. His coaching skills became a byword for greatness in track and field, hurdle, and jump training. Despite hailing from Georgia, his virtues of tenacity and sportsmanship traveled across Tennessee, Texas, and Nebraska. He left his high school coaching job to venture into the collegiate coaching arena; he left Tennessee after successfully wrapping up 12 seasons for an LSU coaching position. He made an enduring impression coaching at several high schools and universities throughout the course of his lengthy fifty-year career.

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The track and field community mourns his loss beyond mere victories and records with the news of his untimely passing. As the news reverberates there lingers a profound sense of lost influence.

Track and field world mourns the loss of a guiding light


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At the age of 80, Billy Maxwell passed away quietly in College Station, Texas. The renowned coach and Hall of Famer began coaching at Georgia’s Columbia High School after receiving his degree from Florida State University. Under his tutelage Columbia won two state titles in the span of 4 seasons, he was awarded the coveted honor of Georgia Coach of the Year in 1967 before making the switch to university coaching.

Later he joined his first job in Tennessee upon accepting legendary coach Stan Huntsman’s offer which turned his life forever. After spending 12 years as a men’s assistant coach at Tennessee, he joined the LSU Tigers in the 1983 season reported LSU Sports. Maxwell moved to Lincoln in 1996, beginning a historic 22-year association with the Cornhuskers. Maxwell led the squad to produce 47 first-team All-Americans during his tenure there, win 34 Conference Championships, and claim three National Championships.

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He was considered one of the top recruiters in the nation and his ability to network internationally allowed him to develop long-lasting bonds with some of the most promising young talents. Throughout his career, Maxwell directed the careers of 28 NCAA champions and 350 All-Americans. The former LSU track and field coach was recognized by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015. However, throughout his storied career, he left an indelible mark on LSU athletics.

Billy Maxwell’s Contribution towards LSU Tigers


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Maxwell embarked on his tenure at Louisiana State University in 1983 when he took over as the men’s and women’s head coach at LSU. Under his coaching, the female Tigers’ squad won their first-ever national championship in the 1987 NCAA Indoor Championships. This helped to usher in an era of success for the Lady Tigers.

During Maxwell’s tenure as coach, the team’s major accomplishments included a commendable tie for second place at the NCAA Outdoor meet in 1985, as well as remarkable third and fifth-place performances at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 1985 and 1986, respectively.


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Upon his passing, LSU track & field head coach Dennis Shaver said, “Coach Maxwell was the engineer behind leading the women’s program to a long streak of dominance at the NCAA Championships.” He further added, “Coach Maxwell was a great story teller and admired by all who knew him. The sport will certainly miss his presence.” His illustrious career shaped the paths of hundreds of aspiring athletes leaving behind a legacy that will be treasured for many years to come.

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