Mellanee Welty begins her eighth season at the University of Florida, working primarily with the team’s dynamic sprints and relays corps and the vertical jumpers. Welty, the team’s recruiting coordinator, is in her second stint with the Gators after also serving as an assistant from 2002-03.
Welty’s impact on the Florida program since her return in 2008 is undeniable. With Welty as the squad’s recruiting coordinator, the Gator coaches have consistently brought in top-10 recruiting classes for four consecutive seasons.
In 2013, Welty worked with sophomore Taylor Burke, who set the new Florida school record in the women’s high jump indoors with a mark of 1.86m/6-1.25. Burke garnered All-America honors for the second straight year in the event. Welty was also instrumental in the development of junior Lorraine Graham, who competed in the multi-events for the first time in her career. Graham etched her name in the Florida record books, becoming the second-best performer all-time in the indoor pentathlon (4,010) and fourth all-time in the outdoor heptathlon (5,239).
In 2012, Welty honed four SEC Champions, as junior Dwight Barbiasz and freshman Taylor Burke swept the SEC Outdoor high jump titles, and senior decathlete Gray Horn earned his second-consecutive SEC indoor heptathlon title. Barbiasz was a finalist in the men’s high jump. Burke won the women’s high jump at the U.S. Junior Championships and competed at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2011, Welty guided then-junior Gray Horn to his third SEC Decathlon title and a First Team All-America performance in the event with his school record of 7,914 points. Horn was also the SEC Indoor Heptathlon Champion with a total of 5,816 points.
In 2010, Welty mentored sophomore Gray Horn to his second consecutive Southeastern Conference decathlon title in as many years. Horn, who consistently set personal-best marks and times, is the only athlete in men’s school history to win a league multi-event crown. He also placed second in the heptathlon at the 2010 SEC Indoor Championships and won the decathlon event at the North American Central American Championships during the summer of 2010.
In 2009, Welty directed then-freshman Gray Horn to the first SEC decathlon in school history as just a freshman. He went on to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Horn finished second at the SEC Indoor Championships, a meet in which another of Welty’s pupils, Frankie Hammond, finished third in the high jump. Horn also was the silver medalist in the decathlon at the 2009 Junior Pan Am Championships.
In just her first year back in Gainesville, Florida’s sprinters and hurdlers captured a combined 25 All-America honors during the 2008 campaign, including a combined eight top-five finishes at the NCAA Championship.
Welty made her way back to Gainesville after at two-year stint at Louisville, where she oversaw the Cardinals’ short sprinters, mid-distance runners and multi-event athletes. In her first year on campus, her pupils broke nine U of L school records. In her second year at Louisville, where Welty earned her master’s degree in 2008, three more school records fell. The men’s team captured the 2007 BIG EAST outdoor championship, while the women’s squad finished second. The women’s 4x100m relay team, under Welty’s direction was a regional qualifier.
Prior to Louisville, Welty coached sprints, jumps and multi-events at Texas Pan-American during the 2005 season, helping her athletes break 10 school records that season.
The Wichita, Kan., native was an assistant at UF from 2002-03, playing an integral;; part in an historic 2003 campaign that saw the Florida women with the Southeastern Conference outdoor championship and the NCAA East Regional title, finish second at the NCAA Indoor Championships and take fourth at the NCAA outdoor meet. During that time, Florida runners captured 23 All-America honors, while Welty also helped the 2003 4x400m relay squad capture the conference crown.
After departing Florida, Welty served as head track and field coach at Gainesville’s P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, where she guided her team to a runner-up finish and five individual titles at the FHSAA Class A state championships. She began her coaching career in 2001 with a one-year stint as a jumps coach at Illinois State. Her tenure in Normal saw Welty develop an NCAA qualifier, three NCAA provisional qualifiers and two Missouri Valley Conference Champions.
A 2001 Cum Laude graduate of Wichita State, Welty earned All-America honors in the heptathlon in 1999, one of two years in which she qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She also collected two Academic All-America honors, eight MVC titles, two MVC Outdoor Field Athlete of the Meet accolades and two Drake Relays heptathlon crowns during her collegiate career.
The Welty File
Hometown: Wichita, Kan.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Wichita State University, 2001
Masters in Sports Administration, University of Louisville, 2008
2001 – Assistant Track and Field Coach – Jumps, Illinois State University
2002-03 – Assistant Track and Field Coach – Assistant Distance Coach, University of Florida
2004 – Head Track and Field Coach, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School (Gainesville, Fla.)
2005 – Assistant Track and Field Coach – Sprints, Jumps, Multi-Events, Texas Pan-American
2006-07 – Assistant Track and Field Coach – Sprints, Multi-Events and Middle Distance, University of Louisville
2008 – Pres – Assistant Track and Field Coach/Recruiting Coordinator – Sprints, Hurdles, Relays, Jumps, University of Florida
Florida – 2003 Women’s SEC Outdoor and NCAA East Regional Champions, 2003 NCAA Women’s Indoor Runner-Up; 2009 Women’s SEC Outdoor Champions; 2009 Men’s NCAA East Regional Champions; 2010 Women’s SEC Indoor Champions; 2010 Men’s NCAA Indoor Champions; 2010 Men’s SEC Outdoor Champions, 2011 Men’s NCAA Indoor Champions; 2012 Women’s SEC Indoor Champions; 2012 Men’s NCAA Indoor Champions; 2012 Men’s NCAA Outdoor Champions, 2013 Men’s NCAA Outdoor Champions
P.K. Yonge – 2004 FHSAA Class A State Runner-Up
Louisville – 2006 Men’s BIG EAST Outdoor Champions
- Dwight Barbiasz – 2012 SEC Outdoor High Jump Champion, 2012 USTFCCCA Indoor All-American, 2012 USTFCCCA Outdoor All-American, Finalist at 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials
- Taylor Burke – 2012 SEC Outdoor High Jump Champion, 2012 USTFCCCA Indoor All-American, Florida record holder
- Gray Horn – 2009 and 2010 SEC Decathlon Champion; 2009 and 2010 USTFCCCA Outdoor All-American; 2009 Junior Pan Am Championships silver medalist; 2010 NACAC decathlon champion.