WACO, Texas – Two-time NCAA champion and IAAF World Championship bronze medalist Trayvon Bromell and New Balance announced Wednesday that the 20-year old sprinter will forgo the final two years of his NCAA eligibility at Baylor to sign a multi-year endorsement deal with the shoe company and pursue a professional career.
“This was a really big decision for me,” Bromell said. “I will still be at Baylor attending school and training, but I just won’t be part of the track team. However, we will always be family. I loved being a part of the team at Baylor and my teammates. I am excited to take this next step in my career. I feel like this is a great opportunity that I have been given, so I just want to take advantage of that.”
Bromell, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., will continue his education at Baylor and train under associate coach Michael Ford as he looks to make his debut as a professional sprinter and achieve his goal of competing for Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games.
“This is a great decision for Trayvon,” Ford said. “I don’t think he had anything else to prove in college. After getting a medal at the world championships, it was a good opportunity for him to go ahead and turn pro. We are sad that he won’t be wearing green and gold anymore, but he will still train and workout at Baylor. That is huge for us, so I am looking forward to this next season with him.”
All told, Bromell won two NCAA individual titles and five Big 12 titles. He garnered four NCAA All-American performances and 10 All-Big 12 accolades. Bromell was a two-time Bowerman Award semifinalist, becoming the first BU athlete to ever appear on the honor’s watch list. He was the 2014 Big 12 Outdoor Outstanding Freshman and the 2015 Big 12 Performer of the Year, along with being named the USTFCCCA South Central Regional Athlete of the Year.
In his two years at Baylor, Bromell rewrote the record books. He holds all 10 of the fastest 100-meter times in BU history, while also tallying school records in the indoor 60 and 200 meters.
On a national level, he owns the second-fastest indoor 200-meter time in collegiate history in winning the 2015 NCAA title in 20.19. He produced the second-fastest wind-legal outdoor 100-meter collegiate time of 9.90 at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Outside the collegiate season, Bromell tops the all-time list for fastest wind-legal (9.84) and wind-assisted (9.76) 100-meter marks by a collegian.
In a historic sophomore season, Bromell won one NCAA title, three NCAA All-American honors, three Big 12 individual titles and five All-Big 12 accolades. He captured the NCAA Indoor 200-meter crown in a school-record time of 20.19 at Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center in March. It was BU's fourth national title in the 200-meter indoor event – the most of any men's program ever. Bromell also became the first Baylor male athlete to earn All-American honors in two individual events at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since Bill Martineson did so in 100 and 220-yard dashes in 1946 and 1947 by placing second in the 100-meter dash (9.88, 2.7m/s) and third in the 200 meters (19.86, 2.4m/s). Overall, he won 12 of the 17 finals that he raced in for the collegiate year.
This past summer, Bromell went toe-to-toe with the world’s top sprinters, finishing second in the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships to Tyson Gay with a time of 9.96 to become the first U.S. teenager to qualify for the world championships. He then earned the bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, behind only Usain Bolt and Justin Gaitlin, to be the youngest athlete to every medal at the meet in 9.92.
During his freshman season, Bromell won the 100-meter title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in a World Junior record time of 9.97. After his first collegiate season, he went on to win the 100-meter title at the USATF Junior Championships with a time of 10.07. That victory qualified him for the IAAF World Junior Championships where he placed second in a time of 10.28. At that meet, Bromell helped USA's 4×100-meter relay team earn gold by running the second leg.
“We are all very happy and proud for Trayvon,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “We would have loved to have had him for all four years, but he has been such a blessing to Baylor Nation. We are excited to watch him continue to grow in his professional career.”
While working on the multi-year endorsement deal with New Balance, Bromell was aided by agent Ricky Simms of PACE Sports Management, which also represents short-sprints Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt.