Former Trojan Olympic great Quincy Watts begins his fourth season at USC as an assistant coach of the sprints.
Last season he coached Ricky Morgan to 400m All-America honors and helped guide Jaide Stepter to the school indoor and outdoor 400m records. Kendall Ellis also moved into fifth place on the USC women's all-time 400m list and the USC women's relays both set school records.
In 2015 he coached Vanessa Jones to the Pac-12 women's 400m title and Ellis to the USC women's freshman outdoor 400m record and Morgan to the men's freshman indoor record. All three runners advanced to the NCAA semifinals in the event. Jones ran the second-fastest 400m time ever by a USC woman of 51.50 to win the conference title. Ellis' freshman record of 52.32 was set in winning tthe 400m at the USATF Juniors.
He also guided the talented quartet of Jaide Stepter, Amalie Iuel, Ellis and Jones which won the Pac-12 title, earned a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships and set both the USC indoor and outdoor 4x400m records.
In his first season back home at USC, Watts helped guide the men's and women's sprinters post some impressive marks. His work with the 400m runners was especially impressive as Akawkaw Ndipagbor won the MPSF indoor 400m title and then earned indoor All-America honors and set the school indoor record. Three USC women and one male scored at the Pac-12 Championships in the 400m dash.
Watts spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as an assistant coach at CS Northridge, primarily working with the distance runners. Prior to that, Watts was an assistant coach at Harvard-Westlake High School which which he helped develop into one of the strongest distances programs in the country. Watts began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Taft High, where he went to high school.
Watts, who came to USC specializing in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, turned into the best 400-meter runner in USC history. The four-year (1989-92) letterman won the 1992 NCAA 400-meter race in a meet record time which still stands of 44.00 (he finished second in 1991) and he also ran the anchor leg on the USC school-record 1600-meter relay team that placed second (3:00.58). He also was a wide receiver on USC football team in 1990. Watts was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. Watts was a two-time gold medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He twice broke Lee Evans' Olympic record in winning the 400 meters. Watts ran 43.71 in the semifinal before clocking a time of 43.50 in the final (which still stands as the USC record). He then teamed with Andrew Valmon, Michael Johnson and Steve Lewis to win the gold in the 4x400 meter relay in a then-world record time of 2:55.74. Watts ran the second leg in a blistering 43.10 which is among the fastest in the world. He also earned a gold medal in the 4x400 relay at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany which still is the world record and a silver medal at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
He was ranked in the world Top 10 in the 400m for four consecutive years (1991-94), including No. 1 in 1992. In the 1600m relay at the World Championships, he won a silver in 1991 and a gold in 1993 (in world record time).
A native of Detroit, Mich., Watts prepped at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Calif. before attending USC.