Georgia track coach Petros Kyprianou leaving after season

Credit: Rob Davis

Credit: Rob Davis

ATHENS – Georgia is about to lose the best track coach it has ever had.

Petros Kyprianou, who led the Bulldogs to both men’s and women’s national championships in the past three years, is leaving UGA after the conclusion of the NCAA Championships next month, several people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week.

Kyprianou’s contract with Georgia expires June 30. The Bulldogs’ tracks teams will compete in NCAA regionals next week at North Florida and are considered longshot contenders for the team title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 9-12.

Kyprianou, 43, told his team at the SEC Championships last week in College Station that this would be his last season at UGA. His next stop is unknown.

Kyprianou’s only comment Friday was to say that he would have an announcement after nationals. “Got to respect UGA Athletics department for any official announcement,” Kyprianou said in a text message.

Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks declined to discuss the situation.

“Our primary focus is supporting our coaches and student-athletes as they prepare for the NCAA regionals and nationals,” Brooks said via a text message.

Georgia has tried to lock down Kyprianou to a multi-year contract since the national championship season in 2018. At the time, he was in the third year of a five-year deal that paid him $335,000, not including bonuses. That contract expired in 2020. Kyprianou and Georgia worked out a one-year agreement last year.

At issue is facilities. Kyprianou would like UGA to invest more significantly in track and field. The Bulldogs do not have an indoor track facility, as most of the major powers do, and they have to share the Spec Towns Track and Field facility with the university.

Georgia has shown steady improvement in the seven years in which Kyprianou has been head coach. Once the Bulldogs’ field coach as an assistant, he succeeded Wayne Norton as head coach in 2015. Georgia set a record for national titlists that year, with four. The following season, the Bulldogs had a record five athletes win championships. In 2017, Kyprianou was named the USTFCCCA’s women’s national outdoor head coach of the year.

In 2018, Georgia track hit pay dirt, winning the women’s indoor title and then the men’s outdoor title in the same year. Both the men’s and women’s squads finished in the top 10 again in 2019. The Bulldogs were ranked fifth and fourth, respectively, in 2020 before the track season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.