The 20-year-old junior sprinter Trayvon Bromell announced that he would forgo his final two years of NCAA eligibility to pursue a professional career in sprinting Wednesday morning. Additionally, Bromell signed a multi-year endorsement deal with New Balance, an athletic apparel company.
Bromell, a two-time NCAA champion and IAAF World Championship bronze medalist said it was the right time to turn pro.
“This was a really big decision for me,” Bromell said. “I will still be at Baylor attending school and training, but I just won’t be part of the track team. However, we will always be family. I loved being a part of the team at Baylor and my teammates. I am excited to take this next step in my career. I feel like this is a great opportunity that I have been given, so I just want to take advantage of that.”
Bromell, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., said he would train under associate coach Michael Ford in an attempt to compete for Team USA in 2016 at the Summer Olympic Games.
After winning a medal at the world championships over the summer, the decision could not be any better for Bromell, Ford said. The coach admitted Bromell would be missed in the Baylor program but Ford is excited to work with him to achieve his goal next season.
The junior compiled an impressive resume during his time at Baylor. In addition to the two NCAA individual titles, Bromell won five Big 12 titles, garnered four NCAA All-American performances and earned 10 All-Big 12 accolades. He was a two-time Bowerman Award semifinalist and became the first BU athlete to ever appear on the honor’s watch list.
Baylor track program is sad to see the junior leave, as no athlete has been more dominant in the 100-meter sprint at Baylor than Bromell. In his two years, he captured all 10 of the fastest times in school history in the 100-meter event. Bromell also logged multiple records in the indoor 60-meter and 200-meter sprints.
“We are all very happy and proud for Trayvon,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “We would have loved to have had him for all four years, but he has been such a blessing to Baylor Nation. We are excited to watch him continue to grow in his professional career.”
The 20-year-old’s sprinting prowess isn’t limited to the Baylor history books, as he owns the second-fastest indoor 200-meter time in collegiate history with a time of 20.19. He registered the second-fastest wind-legal outdoor 100-meter collegiate time of 9.90, as well. Bromell set both records in 2015.
Despite the impressive times, Bromell posted his best numbers outside of the collegiate season. He tops the all-time list for fastest wind-legal (9.84) and wind-assisted (9.76) 100-meter marks by a college athlete.
This past summer, Bromell finished second in the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships to become the first U.S. teenager to qualify for the world championships.
Bromell earned a bronze medal in the 100-meter sprint at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, behind Usain Bolt and Justin Gaitlin. Bromell became the youngest athlete to medal at the event with a time of 9.92.
Bromell was assisted by the same management company that represents Bolt, the world record holder in the 100-meter sprint, to sign with New Balance.
“We are sad that he won’t be wearing green and gold anymore, but he will still train and workout at Baylor,” Ford said. “That is huge for us, so I am looking forward to this next season with him.”