Florida Gators track and field coaches Yanick Hart and Samantha Palmer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gators Track and Field program has recently appointed Yanick Hart and Samantha Palmer as assistant coaches, according to an announcement made by Head Coach Mike Holloway.

“We are thrilled to have Samantha Palmer and Yanick Hart join our coaching staff,” said Holloway.

Yanick Hart Returns To Florida Gators Setup

Yanick Hart is returning to Florida, having previously been associated with the program as both an athlete and coach. – Read more: Florida’s Sam Ahrenholz receives 2022-2023 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

During his time as a Gator athlete from 2014 to 2017, Hart earned USTFCCCA Indoor All-American honors in the 60-meter hurdles in 2016 and USTFCCCA Outdoor All-American honors in the 110-meter hurdles in 2015 and 2016.

He also secured a second-place finish at the 2016 SEC Indoor Championships in the 60-meter hurdles. Hart’s impressive personal best times include 7.71 seconds in the 60m hurdles, ranking fifth fastest in school history, and 13.58 seconds in the 110m hurdles, ranking sixth fastest in school history.

In 2018 and 2019, Hart began his coaching journey with the Florida program, starting as a student assistant coach and later becoming a volunteer assistant coach, primarily focusing on hurdles under the guidance of Adrian Mann.

“Yanick [Hart] will be responsible for the sprints and hurdles and will also contribute to Coach [Mellanee] Welty’s efforts in recruiting,” said Florida Gators track and field head coach Holloway.

“With his background as a Gator Great and in-depth knowledge of the program, Yanick is a tremendous addition to the coaching staff.”

Samantha Palmer Gets New Role

Samantha Palmer, who previously served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Gators, is entering her second season with the team. Before joining Florida, Palmer spent five years as a volunteer assistant coach working with distance runners at the University of Alabama.

During her tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide Women’s cross-country team claimed victory at the 2022 SEC Cross Country Team Championship and finished third at the 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships, with four runners placing in the top-20.

Prior to her time at Alabama, Palmer worked as an Assistant Coach at the University of Toledo, where she coached 17 NCAA East Prelims qualifiers and two All-Americans on the track.

In Cross Country, Palmer helped lead the women’s team to a MAC Championship and a thirtieth-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2014, as well as a runner-up finish at the MAC Championships and a ninth-place finish in the Great Lake region in 2017.

Her coaching achievements earned her the title of 2018 MAC Outdoor Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year, and she has guided a total of 25 top-5 finishers.

As an accomplished runner herself, Palmer was a member of the Iowa State track & field team and qualified for the USA Marathon Olympic Trials in 2016 and 2022, as well as the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials in the 10,000m in 2021.

“Sam [Palmer] will work closely with Coach Will Palmer, focusing on Cross Country and the distance events. Her profound knowledge of the sport will be a valuable asset to the coaching staff,” added Holloway.

With the addition of Yanick Hart and Samantha Palmer, Florida Gators Track and Field aims to enhance their prospects for the upcoming 2023-2024 season and further build upon their national title legacy.

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