KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Christian Coleman has reached the top in collegiate sprinting. The Tennessee junior from Atlanta became the second sprinter in collegiate history, the other being former Vol sprinter Justin Gatlin, to complete the double-double, a rare feat of winning the 60m and 200m indoor and the 100m and 200m outdoor titles.
The first place finish comes at a cost for the University after Coleman has announced his intention to go pro. Coleman wrote a letter to Vol Nation on Monday night.
First off, I want to thank you so much for the love, support, and most of all, the dedication to helping me get where I am today. I not only want to thank the Tennessee track & field coaching staff, but I would also like to thank the entire University of Tennessee faculty and extended family. Each one of my coaches, professors, counselors, teacher’s aides, and teammates really helped me develop both my body and mind, so that I could focus all of my energy on my educational and athletic goals.
I want to thank my parents, my grandparents, everyone in my family for backing me in everything I do. Having that support system motivates me constantly and makes me appreciate how many people have made sacrifices to help me get to where I am.
I also could not have gotten to this point without the coaching staff at Tennessee. Coach Sullivan and Coach Hall have supported me from the beginning and pushed me every step of the way and allowed me to believe that the sky is the limit.
Thank you to the trainers, managers, media relations, and Thornton Center staff who worked with me every day to make sure that I was ready both on the track and off.
Deciding on becoming a professional athlete was not an easy decision to make, mostly because of the tremendous amount of love and support I have received from Vol Nation. I know for a fact that I would not be the same person, let alone athlete, if I had not decided to attend Tennessee. I cannot thank the school enough.
This is not the end of my relationship with Tennessee. I am very proud to say that I plan to complete my degree in Sport Management, while I compete on the pro circuit. Educating myself is equally as important as pursuing my athletics career and I feel I can set a great example for up-and-coming athletes all over the nation to complete their education while pursuing a professional career. It should be done.
To all future collegiate athletes, having the right sense of intuition is key to picking the right school. The moment I stepped onto the UT campus, I instantly knew that I belonged. The amount of pride the UT family has in the Power T is amazing, and the fan base is unmatched by any other campus.
Although I’ve suited up in the orange and white for the last time, I’ll always continue to strive to be the best I can be because that’s what being a Vol for Life truly means. I am exceptionally honored and deeply humbled to have been offered the opportunity to be a part of this historic track program. The incomparable support system along with the close bond that has grown between my teammates and I helped me mature and grow into the man that I am today. You are my family for life.
Thank you so much for everything. The University of Tennessee has been my pillar of strength, and will forever hold a special place in my heart.
With so much love,