Bolden led the women to victory in the first two NCAA West Region Championships (2003 and 2004), and 10 Pac-10 titles in her 18 years of coaching. She has an amazing 73-3 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.
In 2010, the women finished the season with a 25th-place showing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships behind pole vaulters Tori Peña and Katy Viuf's third and fourth-place finish, respectively. Lindsay Rowe (100m hurdles), the 4x400m relay Ryan Krais (heptathlon) and the two vaulters represented UCLA at Nationals. At Pac-10s, the Bruins finished sixth in the team competition. In indoor track, UCLA finished 56th as Tori Peña, Ryann Krais (pentathlon) and Danielle Watson (long jump) competing at the NCAA meet.
Standouts Under Bolden
Bolden has coached several of the top sprinters in NCAA history during her time at UCLA, most notably NCAA Champions Monique Henderson, Sheena Johnson and Nicole Leach. 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.
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.
Leach 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. Leach capped off her Bruin career in 2009 with her second NCAA 400m hurdles crown. 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.
Bolden's success' in the coaching world have not gone unnoticed as she has been honored on several occasions for her work. In December of 2010, Bolden was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association Hall of Fame. She was named the U.S. Olympic Women's Team coach for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2004, Bolden swept every women's collegiate coaching honor and was named "Coach of the Year" by the USTFCCA in the National, West Region and Pac-10 categories.
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
At the end of the 1993 season, then-UCLA head coach Bob Kersee asked to be relieved of his head coaching duties and reassigned to the Bruin staff. There was only one logical choice to replace Kersee, and that was Bolden, an Olympic gold medal winner and All-American sprinter at UCLA. Bolden has just completed her second year as a Bruin assistant coach, specializing in the sprints and hurdles, when she was named head coach.
As an athlete at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Bolden earned a gold medal on the U.S. 400m relay team and placed fourth in the 100m. She was also a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that did not compete in Moscow. At UCLA from 1981-83, she was a five-time All-American. In 1982, she helped lead the Bruins to their first NCAA Outdoor championship, by placing second (11.12) in the 100m and running on UCLA's 400m relay that finished third (44.02). At the 1981 nationals, she placed third in the 100m (11.28) and ran on the Bruins' 400m (second, 44.49) and 800m medley (second, 1:37.41) relays. In 1983 (UCLA's second NCAA Outdoor team title), Bolden injured a hamstring before nationals and did not compete. On the all-time Bruin sprint charts, she is still tied for fourth in the 100m (11.16, with an 11.12w).
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 22 years, Al, have two children, twins Anthony and Kimberly, age 10.