The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

71° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The Real McCoy

    Arizona track athlete Bobby McCoy set a personal record for the 400-meter dash over the weekend, getting the ninth-best time in the country at the last chance meets. McCoy, who used to be a wide receiver for the Wildcat football team, now strictly focuses on track.
    Arizona track athlete Bobby McCoy set a personal record for the 400-meter dash over the weekend, getting the ninth-best time in the country at the last chance meets. McCoy, who used to be a wide receiver for the Wildcat football team, now strictly focuses on track.

    When Bobby McCoy arrived at the UA in 2004, there were high hopes he would add a much needed dynamic to the football team and eventually become one of the team’s leading receivers. Now, almost done with his senior season, McCoy is leading the way for one UA sports team – but it’s not football.

    When McCoy first visited the UA during his senior year in high school he met with two coaches, one being football head coach Mike Stoops, the other being UA head track coach Fred Harvey.

    McCoy was the leading receiver at Klein Forest High School, finishing his senior season with 32 catches for 585 yards and nine touchdowns. He was also the Texas state champion in the 400-meter dash his senior year, which led Harvey to show a lot of interest in him.

    Stoops and Harvey put together a schedule that would allow McCoy to compete for both sports, a fact that may have been the deciding factor in McCoy turning down offers from such schools like Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Arkansas.

    While redshirting his first year of football, McCoy still competed on the track team and set the freshman record in the 60m dash with a time of 6.84 seconds, despite the fact that it wasn’t his premier event.

    McCoy went on to be the team’s top 200m and 400m dash performer, but at the same time has remained low on many people’s radars due to the lack of events he could participate in because of his football commitments.

    “”I had people coming up to me and telling me I could be good because I was able to come out to track for two weeks and make it to the national championships,”” McCoy said, “”where, with football, I practiced all year and I still didn’t play.””

    At the same time, McCoy had struggled to crack the rotation during his first three years on the football team. He played in only two games in that span and had a career total of one catch for five yards. This came despite a fantastic 2006 spring scrimmage when McCoy had four receptions for 82 yards, which prompted Stoops to tell his coaches to find ways to get him the ball.

    After not playing the entire 2006 season, McCoy rejoined the track team in the spring of 2007, mixing his football spring practice with that of the track team. Despite not having a proper training regimen, McCoy qualified for the 200m dash at the NCAA Championships and earned All-American honors after helping lead the men’s 4×100 team to an eighth place finish in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

    The encouragement he received at the meet led him to drop from the football team this year and focus his attention solely on track.

    “”Track is a lot more mental and technical as far as the running goes,”” McCoy said about his training. “”A lot of guys are fast but what matters is what you do when you get tired.””

    After an up and down indoor season, McCoy was the 20th ranked 400m competitor in the country coming in to this past weekend’s last chance meets. Needing a top-16 time to qualify for the national championships, McCoy delivered an all-time personal best time of 46.61 seconds and not only qualified, but placed himself in the top-10 for the first time this season.

    “”It was important that Bobby got into the indoor championships because I feel that he is going to shock a lot of people,”” Harvey said.

    While Harvey calls McCoy a soft-spoken member of the team, he also knows that McCoy’s work ethic helps him to be a leader of the team, if only by example.

    “”Even if you didn’t know who Bobby was, if you came to practice you could just tell,”” said freshman sprinter Kyle Alston.

    McCoy admits to trying to make practice more fun for everyone, only because he knows personally how hard it is for everyone to drag themselves to practice each and every day, having done it for two teams for the last three years.

    “”I try to be someone who comes to practice and show that I’m doing it and loving it,”” McCoy said, “”especially this year when we have a lot of young kids on the team.””

    As McCoy heads to his first Indoor NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend, he said there are no hard feelings between him and the football staff. Harvey also said that there is no chip on McCoy’s shoulder and he is just a competitor no matter what sport he is competing in.

    After the indoor season concludes, McCoy said he looks forward to the outdoor season, where he doesn’t expect to lose any races. Harvey said he wouldn’t be surprised.

    “”What’s more important than me thinking it is that he truly believes it,”” Harvey said. “”I can’t go out and run the race for him but the fact that he knows he is capable of it shows the competitor in his nature.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search