Jeanette Bolden enters her 19th year at the helm of the women's track and field program and her third season as head cross country coach. Bolden has led the Bruin women to incredible success during her time as head track coach, helping guide the team to three NCAA titles in the process - the 2004 Outdoor title, and both the 2000 and 2001 Indoor crowns (the first women or men's indoor track and field titles in school history). In 2005, Bolden's team finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with just five scoring competitors. In all, Bolden has been a part of five NCAA Championship teams, both as a coach and athlete. As a coach, she has guided Bruin sprinters, hurdlers and relay runners to over 50 All-American performances.
Bolden led the women to victory in the first two NCAA West Region Championships (2003 and 2004), and 10 Pac-10 titles in her 17 years of coaching. She has an amazing 73-2 dual meet record at UCLA, with 14 consecutive wins coming over archrival USC. The Bruins were also the nation's top dual meet team on nine separate occasions.
In 2006, Bolden was given one of the highest honors of her career as she was named the U.S. Women's Head Coach for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She was the first head coach in U.S. Olympic history to have won an Olympic medal as an athlete. Bolden led the American women to their third-highest medal haul in U.S. Olympic history (23), and most since the 1992 Barcelona Games. She also saw Dawn Harper (gold, 100mH), Sheena Johnson (bronze, 400mH) and Monique Henderson (gold, 4x400) have much success at the Games.
The cross country team rebounded from a rough 2008 season, showing much improvement behind MVP Shannon Murakami, who competed at NCAAs an an individual. The women went from 10th in 2008 to seventh in the conference and from 17th to 11th in the West Region.
Standouts Under Bolden
In 2005, Henderson capped off her NCAA career with a win in the 400m at the NCAA Outdoor meet, the first individual title of her career. She blazed her way through the season, winning the Pac-10, West Region and NCAA titles in that event, ending her career with nine All-American honors. Her accomplishments helped her garner the Pac-10 and Mondo West Region Women's Athlete of the Year awards. She was also a finalist for the Honda Award, given annually to the nation's top female student-athlete. She ranked third in the country and 10th in the world that season and continues to be one of the top quarter-milers in the country and world.
Henderson also won a gold medal as a member of the 4x400m relay squad that took first at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Johnson won two NCAA 400m hurdles titles during her time at UCLA, setting a collegiate record in her final year (52.95). She won three West Region titles and nine Pac-10 crowns (three on a relay and six individual) during her career and was a 15-time All-American.
Johnson also competed at the Olympic Games in 2004, and just missed a medal, finishing fourth in the intermediate hurdles. In 2008, she earned the Silver medal in the 400m hurdles.
In just three years, Leach has made a name for herself on the collegiate, national and world scene as she won her first NCAA title during her sophomore season and was second in 2008. She competed for the U.S. at the World Championships, advancing to the semifinal round before being eliminated and competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June of 2008.
In December of 2010, Bolden will be inducted into the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
On February 13, 2004, Bolden was presented the prestigious C. Vivian Stringer Award, an accolade which is presented to a woman who has experienced outstanding achievement as a coach - exhibiting a high standard of propriety, imagination and innovation as a character builder in the tradition of great teacher-coaches. She has also been named the USTCA West Region Women's Coach of the Year on nine occasions, as well as Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year on 10 occasions.
Bolden has served on a number of NCAA and track and field boards, and has served as an assistant coach for the World Indoor and Outdoor Championships, and in 1998 was named the USOC Track & Field Developmental Coach of the Year. In 1994, she served as an assistant coach for the West squad at the Olympic Festival in St. Louis. In 2006, Bolden served as the head coach for the 2006 World Cup, which was held in Greece.
Named UCLA Head Coach
Throughout her track career, Bolden was considered one of the top female sprinters in the U.S. In 1986 she tied the then-world indoor record (6.54) in the 60y dash in the GTE/Times Indoor meet at The Forum and in 1983, she set the former 60y world record indoor mark (6.60) at the Dallas Times Herald Meet. She still holds the collegiate women's indoor mark in the 50m (6.13) and 50y. In 1985, Bolden ran the second leg on the American-record setting sprint medley relay (1:36.79). Ranked No. 9 in the country in 1988, Bolden was trying to make her third straight U.S. Olympic team that year when she tore an Achilles tendon at the Trials, requiring surgery. Away from the Coaching
She is executive director and coordinator of the Jeanette Bolden Asthma and Allergy Track Clinic; and a member of the Board of Directors for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. Most recently, she was named a coordinator for the Marathon Kids Foundation at UCLA, an organization that the women's team is heavily involved in volunteering. Bolden and her family own the famous 27th Street Bakery in Los Angeles.
Bolden and her husband of 21 years, Al, have two children, twins Anthony and Kimberly, age 8