Matt Kane returned to the collegiate coaching ranks in September of 2019 as the Seminoles’ women’s sprints coach with oversight of both the men’s and women’s hurdlers.
Kane brings 18 years of coaching experience and an impressive list of accomplishments to Tallahassee, having produced six NCAA champions, a world champion and 160 first-team All-Americans between the NCAA Division I and NJCAA ranks.
He inherits a talent trio of Ka’Tia Seymour and Jayla Kirkland on the women’s side, as well as men’s hurdler Trey Cunningham – all juniors – who were instrumental in helping their respective squads to top-10 NCAA Outdoor and top-five NCAA Indoor finishes in 2019. In all, he will be directing a group of returnees that has combined for 15 All-American honors.
Kane joins FSU after four years in the professional ranks with Austin, Texas-based Axis Athletics, where he also served as a consultant for adidas.
Prior to that the Oklahoma native spent four seasons (2012-15) as the sprints and hurdles coach at Alabama and two seasons as the men’s sprints and hurdles coach at Oklahoma (2010-11).
Under Kane’s direction Alabama’s Ramona Burchell won three sprint NCAA – two in the 60-meter dash and one in the 100-meter dash – and set the since-broken NCAA record in the 60 when she ran 7.08 to win the 2014 SEC title. In addition to Burchell’s 2014 60-meter title, Diondre Batson won the men’s indoor 200-meter title the same year.
Kane’s first NCAA champion was Oklahoma’s Ronnie Ash, who won the 60-meter hurdles title in 2010. A year later it was Mookie Salaam who delivered his second NCAA crown, claiming the 200-meter indoor title.
Those efforts at Oklahoma and Alabama did not go unrecognized as Kane was selected by his peers as the 2011 Midwest Region Men’s Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2013 South Region Men’s Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year.
Kane cut his coaching teeth in the junior college ranks, beginning with a five year stint (2001-05) as the sprints coach at Butler (Kan.) County Community College, followed by a four year run (2006-09) as the head coach at Barton (Kan.) County Community College, where he guided the program to a sweep of the NJCAA men’s and women’s indoor titles in 2006.
Among his junior college pupils, Ryan Brathwaite became the youngest IAAF World Champion in the 110-meter hurdles in 2009, while representing Barbados. Brathwaite’s Barton teammate, Panama native Alonso Edward, won silver in the 200-meter dash behind Usain Bolt’s world record.
Not surprisingly, Kane earned NJCAA Men’s National Coach of the Year honors in 2009.
The connections Kane has made through his time in the collegiate and professional ranks have further enhanced his reputation as an elite recruiter, both domestically and abroad, where he has deep ties in the Caribbean as well as Europe.
Kane and his wife Diana have two children, Lucas and Emily.