Alum Bennie Brazell To Be LSU Assistant Coach

For Immediate Release – September 12, 2011
BATON ROUGE – The LSU track and field program is proud to welcome back one of its all-time greats as an assistant coach as former Tiger two-sport standout Bennie Brazell joins the staff as LSU’s top men’s sprints and hurdles assistant with the squad poised to contend for a national championship in 2012.
A member of the LSU track and field program from 2002-05, Brazell helped the Tigers claim five NCAA relay titles while earning 14 All-America honors as one of the NCAA’s leading 400-meter hurdlers during his four seasons in Baton Rouge. By earning 14 All-America accolades for his career, Brazell is the No. 2 Tiger all-time behind only the 19 All-America honors won by Kelly Willie from 2003-06.
Brazell actually owns the unique distinction of being the university’s first student-athlete to claim national championships with two different sports teams during his LSU career.
In four seasons as a member of national championship football and track program at LSU, Brazell became one of the school’s most recognizable two-sport stars during his career that featured national titles in track and field outdoors in 2002 and indoors in 2004 and on the football field in 2003.
Brazell even represented the United States on an international stage during his junior season at LSU as he advanced to the Olympic final in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In his Olympics debut for the United States, he finished in eighth place in the final at the centennial games.
“We’re excited to announce that Bennie Brazell has joined our staff as he will make an immediate impact on our sprints and hurdles group that is sure to provide a foundation for our team in 2012,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “Bennie will provide our team with tremendous knowledge and experience after his competitive career highlighted by an Olympic final as one of the world’s elite 400-meter hurdlers.
“We also expect that Bennie will provide our program with great ability as a recruiter in building the kind of relationships that are so important to attract the very best athletes we can to LSU. That’s especially true in recruiting the best athletes in the country who excel in both football and track who will be able to relate to Bennie’s experience as an LSU alumnus.”
A product of Westbury High School in Houston, Brazell made an immediate impact on the LSU track and field program as the nation’s No. 1 high school prospect in the 400-meter hurdles.
During his freshman season, Brazell scored eight points as the NCAA outdoor runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles while breaking the school record in the event with a time of 48.80 seconds. He also anchored LSU to a national title in the 4x100-meter relay that ran the fourth-fastest time in NCAA history at 38.32, while also running the third leg on the Tigers’ bronze-medal winning 4x400-meter relay team.
Brazell’s 14 points helped lead LSU to a national championship in its own backyard with the 2002 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships being held at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
Brazell helped guide LSU to a second NCAA team title at the onset of his junior season in 2004 with their victory at the NCAA Indoor Championships. With the Lady Tigers also winning their team championship during the event, LSU made history as the first program to sweep both the men’s and women’s team titles at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Brazell certainly went out with a bang as a senior in 2005 with his NCAA Championships performance as he enjoyed performances in the 400 hurdles and 4x400 relay that eclipsed previous collegiate records.
In the most exciting NCAA final in the 400-meter hurdles in NCAA Championships history, Brazell and Florida’s Kerron Clement each shattered the collegiate record as Clement struck gold in 47.56 and Brazell took home the silver in 47.67, a time that remains the LSU school record in the event.
While Brazell came up just short of owning the collegiate record in the 400-meter hurdles with his second place to Clement in the national final, he would not be denied in the final of the 4x400-meter relay. That’s where he ran a 44.8-second split on the third leg to set the collegiate record at 2:59.59 with Reggie Dardar (46.4), Kelly Willie (44.4) and Xavier Carter (44.0) and win the NCAA crown.
The Houston native also enjoyed a successful career on the football field while appearing in 43 contests in his four seasons as a wide receiver and special team standout. Brazell appeared in 11 games for the Tigers during their national championship season in 2003, including the 2004 Sugar Bowl.
Brazell wrapped up his football career at LSU with 17 catches for 341 yards and three touchdowns, before being selected in Round 7 of the 2006 NFL Draft as the 231st overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It’s a great honor for me to come back to my alma mater as a coach and continue to make an impact on a program that I love. I just thank Coach Shaver for giving me this great opportunity,” Brazell said. “I want to not only help the guys continue to develop on the track as great athletes, but I want to help them off the track as well in developing the kind of skills they need to succeed off the track.
“Being a student-athlete at LSU myself, that has really helped prepare me for this opportunity. I know I’ll be able to relate to what our athletes go through each and every day.”