trackfield-outdoor-women-d1 flag

Stan Becton | NCAA.com | March 27, 2022

The Bowerman award: Complete history of the track and field honor

The Bowerman is given each year to the most outstanding male and female NCAA track & field athletes. LSU’s JuVaughn Harrison and Texas A&M’s Athing Mu received the 2021 awards.

Here's everything you need to know about the annual honor, presented by the USTFCCCA.

What is the Bowerman award and who is it named after?

The Bowerman debuted in 2009 to honor the most outstanding male and female NCAA track & field athletes.

The athlete of the year award's namesake, Bill Bowerman, is a legend in track and field, coaching at Oregon from 1949-72. Bowerman’s Ducks won four national team titles and finished twice as runner-up. Individually, Bowerman coached 24 NCAA individual champs, 33 Olympians and 64 All-Americans. Bowerman also coached the 1972 Olympic Team. 

Off the track, Bowerman was president of the USTFCCCA’s predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and later co-founded Nike. Bowerman also was one of the primary leaders in the formation of the United States Track and Field Federation. For his contributions to the sport, Bowerman was an inaugural inductee into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame in 1995.

🏆: Here are the DI track and field teams with most NCAA championships

How does Bowerman award voting work?

A panel of national and regional media personnel, track & field statisticians, NCAA collegiate administrators, past winners and Presidents of affiliated organizations vote on the award's winner, based on players' regular-season performances. Moreover, USTFCCCA members and fans each collectively receive one vote in The Bowerman voting. 

On ballots, each first choice vote is worth three points, with second and third choice votes receiving two and one points, respectively.

Voters consider athletes’ performances from the NCAA indoor track & field and outdoor track & field seasons. The performance window for The Bowerman is from December 1 through the NCAA outdoor track and field championships. Performances must be from the year in which the award is given to qualify. However, an athlete does not have to compete in both the indoor and outdoor seasons to be eligible for the award. Cross country performances are not considered.

When is the Bowerman award winner announced?

Below is the annual timeline for The Bowerman award.

  • January (first week): Initial meetings of The Bowerman Watch Committees, The Bowerman Men’s and Women’s Preseason Watch Lists published
  • February (first week): First regular-season release of Watch Lists
  • March (post-indoor conference championships): Second regular-season release of Watch Lists
  • March (post-NCAA Indoor Championships): Third regular-season release of Watch Lists
  • April (third full week): Fourth regular-season release of Watch Lists
  • May (first week): Fifth regular-season release of Watch Lists
  • May (post-outdoor conference championships): Sixth regular-season release of Watch Lists
  • June (post-NCAA DI first rounds): Seventh regular-season release of Watch Lists
  • June (post-NCAA DI Outdoor Championship finals): Release of award semifinalists
  • June: Meeting of Bowerman Advisory Board to select three male and three female finalists
  • June: The Bowerman Men’s and Women’s Finalists announced
  • June: The Bowerman ballots delivered to The Bowerman Voters
  • July: The Bowerman voting closes
  • December: The Bowerman winners announced

💨: Wind and scoring in track and field, explained

Bowerman award winners by school

15 schools have won at least one Bowerman award, whether that be a men's or women's trophy. From those 15, just four schools have won multiple Bowerman awards in their history.

Oregon leads all schools with five total Bowerman awards, followed by Texas A&M and LSU with three each. The latter two programs added to this total with the 2021 women's and men's Bowerman awards, respectively.

Here are the schools with the most combined (men's and women's) Bowerman awards.

Number of Bowermans School
5 Oregon
3 Texas A&M, LSU
2 Florida
1 Florida State, Southern Utah, Indiana, Arkansas, Tennessee,
Southern California, Colorado, Virginia Tech, Clemson,
Texas, Georgia

Men’s winners by school

Here are the schools with the most men’s Bowerman awards.

Number of Bowermans School
2 Oregon, Florida
1 Florida State, Southern Utah, Indiana, Texas A&M,
Arkansas, Tennessee, Southern California, LSU

Women’s winners by school

Here are the schools with the most women’s Bowerman awards.

Number of Bowermans School
3 Oregon
2 Texas A&M, LSU
1 Colorado, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Texas, Georgia

NCAA T&F: Here's how the outdoor track and field championships work

Bowerman award winners by conference

Here are the conferences with the most combined (men's and women's) Bowerman awards.

Number of Bowermans Conference
11 SEC
7 Pac-12
3 ACC
1 Big 12, Big Ten, Big Sky

Men’s winners by conference

Here are the conferences with the most men’s Bowerman awards.

Number of Bowermans Conference
6 SEC
3 Pac-12
1 ACC, Big Ten, Big Sky

Women’s winners by conference

Here are the conferences with the most women’s Bowerman awards.

Number of Bowermans Conference
5 SEC
4 Pac-12
2 ACC
1 Big 12

VENUE HISTORY: These historic moments all happened at Hayward Field

Complete history of past Bowerman award recipients

LSU’s JuVaughn Harrison and Texas A&M’s Athing Mu are the 12th recipients of The Bowerman.

Harrison took home the men’s award, becoming the first LSU male to win the hardware. During the indoor season, Harrison became the first Division I athlete to win both the high jump and long jump championships. He then completed the sweep during the outdoor season, in total taking home four NCAA titles in one calendar year.

Mu took home the women’s award after record-shattering performances in the indoor and outdoor seasons. During the indoor season, Mu set new records in both the 600 meters and 800 meters. She also finished with the fifth-fastest 400-meter performance in collegiate indoor history. At the indoor championships, Mu anchored Texas A&M’s title-winning 4x400 meter relay with a 49.54 split, the fastest split ever. During the outdoor season, Mu again set the 800-meter collegiate record. She later set the 400-meter collegiate record and took home the NCAA individual outdoor title.

Other notable past honorees include eventual Olympic stars Ashton Eaton (Oregon, 2010), Courtney Okolo (Texas, 2016), Christian Coleman (Tennessee, 2017), Grant Holloway (Florida, 2019 ), and Sha’Carri Richardson (LSU, 2019). See the full list below.

Year Athlete Gender School
2021 JuVaughn Harrison Men's LSU
  Athing Mu Women's Texas A&M
2019 Grant Holloway Men's Florida
  Sha'Carri Richardson Women's LSU
2018 Michael Norman Men's Southern California
  Keturah Orji Women's Georgia
2017 Christian Coleman Men's Tennessee
  Raevyn Rogers Women's Oregon
2016 Jarrion Lawson Men's Arkansas
  Courtney Okolo Women's Texas
2015 Marquis Dendy Men's Florida
  Jenna Prandini Women's Oregon
2014 Deon Lendore Men's Texas A&M
  Laura Roesler Women's Oregon
2013 Derek Drouin Men's Indiana
  Brianna Rollins Women's Clemson
2012 Cam Levins Men's Southern Utah
  Kimberlyn Duncan Women's LSU
2011 Ngoni Makusha Men's Florida State
  Jessica Beard Women's Texas A&M
2010 Ashton Eaton Men's Oregon
  Queen Harrison Women's Virginia Tech
2009 Galen Rupp Men's Oregon
  Jenny Barringer Women's Colorado

The 12 best 2022 women's track and field performances before NCAA preliminaries

With the East/West preliminary meets approaching, we're taking a look back at some of the top performances from women's track and field this season.
READ MORE

Texas stands pat, Southern California rises before prelims in latest women's track and field rankings

Week 9 of the women's outdoor track and field rankings comes right in time for postseason action, ahead of the NCAA preliminary meets.
READ MORE

2022 NCAA DI outdoor track and field East and West preliminary championships selections

The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Committee has announced the participants for the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships preliminary competitions.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners