Pair of UT track assistants gone from program

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ( -- The University of Tennessee announced Friday that Associate Head Coach George Watts and Assistant Coach Norbert Elliott will not return to the track & field staff for the 2011-12 season.

“I did not reach this decision easily, but I felt it was necessary to make some changes to our coaching staff,” UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. “Our focus and expectation will continue to be about restoring the Tennessee men’s track & field program to a championship level.”

Watts, who coached the men’s distance corps and cross country team, was the longest-tenured member of a staff that became a combined men’s and women’s program in 2010. His charges captured 33 All-America honors and 21 SEC titles on the oval. As an athlete, Watts was an All-American at Tennessee in both cross country and indoor track, and stands as the SEC record-holder in the three-mile run on the oval.

Elliott just completed his seventh season in Knoxville, overseeing the Vol sprinters and hurdlers. During his stint, his athletes produced 29 All-America certificates, two NCAA championships and eight SEC individual titles. Members of his group also toppled five UT records along the way.

“I’d like to thank George Watts and Norbert Elliott for their service to the University of Tennessee,” UT Senior Associate Athletics Director Chris Fuller said. “Decisions that impact coaching personnel are never easy, and this one was especially difficult.”