As the dust settles on USC sports for the 2017-2018 year, student-athletes and coaches were selected for awards in their respective fields.
Caryl Smith Gilbert
Caryl Smith Gilbert was named the Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Smith Gilbert, who just concluded her fifth season at USC, led the Trojans to their first Pac-12 Championship in over 20 years and their first outdoor title since 2001, edging out second-place Georgia, which won the men’s championship, and third-place Stanford. The Pac-12 Coach of the Year’s players won eight of the 21 events at the NCAA championship as well as setting numerous USC records throughout the year.
Quincy Watts was awarded the Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Watts, who is in his fifth season on staff, is regarded as a Trojan legend himself, consistently ranked in the top 10 in the 400m during his time at USC. He also won a gold medal in the 1993 world championships. He was recognized this year for his work with Men’s Track Athlete of the Year Michael Norman, as well as for helping the team finish fourth at the NCAA championships.
While the men’s and women’s track and field team stacked awards at the end of their season, the women’s lacrosse team also had a player recognized for her on-field performance. Kerrigan Miller, a sophomore from New York was named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-America third team this year. After being heralded as the nation’s No. 1 recruit for the 2016-2017 class, Miller has lived up to lofty expectations thus far in her first two seasons. After leading the Trojans with 31 turnovers forced and a selection on the IWLCA All-West/Midwest Region Second Team in her first season, Miller improved by making the region’s First Team, and forced 40 turnovers, good for most on USC and in the Pac-12 Conference.
Michael Norman, who just concluded his sophomore season, was named Men’s Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. After an injury freshman year that hampered his performance, the former National Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year exploded in his second season with USC. Like Watts once did, Norman specialized in the 400m and with a time of 43.61 seconds. He now holds the collegiate record that was previously held by Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley. Norman was also a part of another record, this time in the 400m relay, where he teamed up with senior Ricky Morgan Jr., junior Rai Benjamin and freshman Zach Shinnick to post a blazing 2:59:00. Norman has since decided to forgo his eligibility and turn pro, although he will remain at USC to finish his undergraduate degree. Norman is also a semifinalist for the Bowerman, an honor awarded to the nation’s most outstanding track and field athlete. Along with fellow semifinalist Benjamin, Norman will look to become the first USC student-athlete to win the award.