Ray Stanfield, who has spent more than 20 years coaching track and field in the college and high school ranks, is in his fifth year as UAB's head track and field coach. He also runs the UAB cross country program. Stanfield has coached Olympians, All-Americans and NCAA Champions, and has also earned Coach of the Year honors in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama.
At UAB, he has produced seven Conference USA athletes of the week, one C-USA Athlete of the Year in Elizabeth Ambrus and the Blazers' cross country squad has earned the Academic All-American team award five times. His UAB track teams have also set 28 school records over four seasons.
Most recently, Stanfield led UAB's cross country team to a Conference USA championship in the fall of 2006, earning him C-USA Coach of the Year honors. His Blazer cross country squad also went on to place seventh in the NCAA South Regional meet.
During the 2006 track season, the Blazers earned a fifth place finish at the C-USA Outdoor Championships, which marked their best finish since the 1998 season. With the guidance of Stanfield, seven Blazers qualified for the NCAA Regional Meet and Elizabeth Ambrus qualified for the NCAA National Championship meet in two events.
At the 2005 C-USA Indoor Championships, Stanfield guided the Blazers to a third-place finish, which was UAB's highest finish since 1996. The Blazers had six all-conference performances and Stanfield was named Women's Coach of the Year. UAB set a total of eight school records during the indoor season and sophomore Genoah Collins qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 800 meters. Additionally, Elizabeth Ambrus took the indoor conference title in the 5,000 meters. During the outdoor season UAB set a total of eight school records and two freshman records. The Blazers had two all-conference performances and eight NCAA Regional Championship qualifiers. UAB also took the title at the 2005 Alabama Relays.
During the spring of 2004, the Blazers broke 10 school records, setting four for the indoor season and an additional six for the outdor season. The Blazers finished eighth at the C-USA Indoor Championships and ninth at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. The Blazers' 400-meter relay team also finished in ninth place at the NCAA Midwest Region Championships.
In 2003, his team broke five school records and added numerous performers to the all-time top-five list in Blazer track history. One athlete was also named C-USA Athlete of the Week.
Stanfield showed his recruiting ability during the off-season. His first recruiting class as coach of the Blazers included two national champions, 12 state title winners and an All-American.
Stanfield began his coaching career in 1976 at the high school level. He spent seven years as a high school coach in Texas. While at Canton (Texas) High School, he was named the state's 2000 U.S. Running Cross Country Coach of the Year after leading his team to the Texas State Championship. Previous high school coaching experience for Stanfield includes head coach at Crockett High School (1998-2000), head coach at Corrigan-Camden High School (1995-96) and head coach at Huntsville High School (1988-94). Stanfield led his teams to nine high school state championships.
In 1982, Stanfield became the assistant coach at Rice University, coaching the sprints and the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams. Under his tutelage, two Owl relay teams finished as runners-up at the NCAA Championships in 1985 and 1986. His 400-meter relay team placed second in 1985, while his indoor mile relay team placed third in 1986. While at Rice, he also coached Canadian Olympian Courtney Brown and Jamaican Olympian and two-time 1000-meter NCAA Champion Gawain Guy. Also, two of his sprinters were Olympic Trials finalists, Elliston Stinson and Steven Hall (1984).
Stanfield has also coached collegiately at McNeese State (head coach,1993-94), Sam Houston State (assistant coach, 1987-88) and Samford University (assistant coach, 2001-02). While at McNeese State, his women's team won the Louisiana Collegiate Championship in 1993.
Stanfield received his degree in secondary education in 1978 from Mid-America Bible College in Oklahoma City where he was an All-American in basketball. He later earned a masters degree in physical education at Sam Houston State in 1988. Stanfield began his college career as a student at Hardin-Simmons on a basketball scholarship. He was all-conference three times in basketball and an All-American as a senior.
Stanfield is married to the former Patricia Conway of Houston. They have two children (twins): Tori, a senior who runs cross country and track at Carson-Newman and Tyler, who is currently training as a professional tri-athlete. Tyler spent his first two seasons at Alabama, where he was an All-SEC performer in track in 2003 and the 2002 Freshman of the Year for the South Region in Cross Country. He also spent the 2004-05 season at Houston, where he won the Conference USA Cross Country championships and helped the Cougars win the 2004 C-USA cross country, indoor and outdoor championships.