Kebba Tolbert


Kebba TolbertKebba Tolbert is in his eighth season as the women’s sprints/hurdles and horizontal jumps coach for Harvard University for the 2018-19 school year, and is in his sixth season as associate head coach of the squad.

2018 was an award-winning season for Tolbert as he was named USTFCCCA Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year. He saw his group score 101 of 114 points with six event wins, and oversaw a runner-up finish at Ivy League Outdoor Heps. Tolbert’s group set school records this outdoor season in the 100m, 200m, triple jump, and 100m hurdles. They also set Ivy records in the 100m and 200m, and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Meet in the 100m, 200m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, long jump and triple jump. Tolbert mentored sprinter Gabby Thomas, who became the first Ivy League women’s sprinter to win an indoor national championship in the 200m, setting a new collegiate record with her 22.38 mark in the final event heat of the NCAA Division Indoor Track and Field Championships at Texas A&M.

It was another record-breaking year for Tolbert’s group in 2017 – two of Harvard’s four competitors at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships were coached by Kebba: Zoe Hughes (pentathlon) and Gabby Thomas (200m). Thomas earned 1st Team All-America honors, the first Ivy League sprinter to reach an NCAA final, while Hughes earned 2nd Team distinction. Thomas set new school marks in the 60m (7.29s) and 200m (22.88) at Indoor Heps, and Simi Fajemisin broke school records in the long jump (6.09m) and triple jump (12.96m) at Indoor Heps. The success continued during the outdoor season – Thomas earned USTFCCCA First Team All-America distinction, placing third at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 200m, while senior Jade Miller also earned USTFCCCA First Team All-America honors, placing sixth at the NCAA Outdoor Meet. Tolbert guided Harvard’s sprinters, hurdlers, and horizontal jumpers to historic feats and contributed 117 of the team’s 164 points to win a fourth straight Ivy Outdoor Heps title. Eight of the team’s 10 Heps titles came in events that Tolbert coached, (100m, 200m, 400m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, heptathlon, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay). For the third time in a row, Tolbert was again named the USTFCCCA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the outdoor campaign.

In his first year with the program, Tolbert helped the Crimson sprinters and hurdlers make a significant impact. After helping the men’s outdoor squad to a third-place finish at the Outdoor Heptagonal Championships, which was its best finish in a decade, Tolbert saw the women’s 4×400 relay team break the school record twice in 24 hours at the ECAC Championships. Tolbert also helped four men’s sprinters break into the all-time program top 10 list in the 60-meter dash.

A graduate of Colby College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, Tolbert earned his Master of Arts degree in exercise science in 1996 from Smith.

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