Ricky Argro knows a little something about the building of championship-caliber track & field teams from his days as a Florida State sprinter/jumper. The Noles were 57th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in his 2003 freshman season and won the NCAA title with Argro captaining the 2006 squad.
Through his first four seasons as the men’s sprints and relays coach, the Noles are following a similar arc. FSU was 64th at the 2016 outdoor championships and 17th in 2019, after placing sixth indoors.
Argro has had a significant hand in contributing to the Noles’ most recent ascent. Over the past two years his charges have piled up 11 All-American honors between the indoor and outdoor campaigns – nine first-team performances – pushing his four-year total to 14 All-Americans. Additionally, he has produced 10 ACC champions, leading to three team titles (two indoor, one outdoor).
Charged with rebuilding a roster in the sprints segment, Argro has replenished the ranks by landing stars – Darryl Haraway, Andre Ewers and Kasaun James – and surrounding them with quality complementary pieces through resourceful recruiting. And the Noles are reaping the rewards.
That was especially evident in 2019 when James swept ACC Indoor Championship Track MVP and ACC Indoor Track Performer of the Year honors, while Ewers won his second consecutive ACC Outdoor Championship Track MVP honor, following up his 2018 ACC Outdoor Track Performer of the Year season. Bryand Rincher’s accolades spanned both the most recent indoor and outdoor seasons, sweeping ACC Freshman of the Year honors. Rincher was the lone Nole to earn first-team All-American honors in both seasons as the only freshman to advance to the NCAA finals in the 60-meter and 100-meter dashes.
FSU’s new depth was on display when they charged from sixth place entering the final day of the ACC Indoor Championships to a share of the team title. The Noles qualified a conference-record six men to the 60-meter dash finals and piled up 25 points, and stacked on 29 points in the 200 final with a 1-2-3 finish leading five finalists.
Haraway, the centerpiece to Argro’s first recruiting class, was the 2017 ACC Indoor Championship 60- and 200-meter champion, earning the meet’s Track Performer of the Year award.
In all, the men have amassed 31 All-ACC honors, including 20 first-team selections.
The 2019 team produced a school record in the 4×100 relay as the team of Rincher, fellow freshman Jhevaughn Matherson, Michael Timpson and Ewers broke the NCAA Championship record in a runner-up finish at 38.08. In 2018 Ewers matched Dentarius Locke’s school record in the 60-meter dash (6.52).
Totaled, Argro’s sprinters have added 13 new additions to the all-time top-10 lists between the indoor and outdoor seasons over his four seasons at the helm.
The recent success further validates Bob Braman’s 2015 hiring of Argro, who built his reputation as a high school and private coach in Central Florida since graduating from FSU in 2006. Prior to his arrival, Argro had guided Orlando’s First Academy to three consecutive 1A boys state runner-up finishes and the girls to back-to-back top-eight showings. In that narrow window he produced 15 state champions.
In addition to that team success, Argro also helped develop former Noles sprinter Marvin Bracy, a 2016 Olympian, and his cousin Levonte Whitfield, who starred for the FSU football team. Together they were the top-ranked 100-meter high school runners nationally from 2011-13. Additionally, he coached future NCAA champion and Team USA member Teahna Daniels at First Academy.
His passion for coaching has roots that run deep into his past as a standout out Lyman High School, where he was mentored by Fred Finke and Marcus O’Dell. That passion was nurtured during his four seasons with the Noles, where he helped qualify two All-American 4×100 relay teams to the NCAA Championship meet, while earning All-ACC honors under Ken Harnden, the man he replaced on the FSU staff.
Argro and his wife Iona are the proud parents of four daughters – Tamera, Isis, Yahirah and London.