Carl Lewis Hopes to Lead ‘Speed City’ to a National Title

In 2013, Lewis returned to Houston as a volunteer coach, largely to help his former teammate and then-Houston head coach, Leroy Burrell, with his son Cameron, who was a first-year sprinter on the team. Lewis joined the full-time staff a season later to work with sprinters and jumpers.

As an assistant, Lewis helped develop Houston into one of college’s premier sprint groups. Cameron Burrell became one of the nation’s best 100-meter runners, winning an individual title in 2018. The sprint group earned the moniker “Speed City,” which is written on the outdoor track’s fences and team apparel.

But a team title has evaded Houston. The Cougars appeared to have their best chance four years ago, when the men finished second at the indoor championships, behind Florida. Milesplit, the track and field website, created a weekly video series that followed the team throughout the 2019 outdoor season. But the men finished third, after first-place Texas Tech, and Florida.

“They should have won it,” Lewis said. “They just choked. I mean, they choked straight up. And, you know, we were frustrated because we had the TV show and everything going on.”

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