Texas Border Business
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Friday the hiring of four-time Olympian, three-time All-American and 2002 NCAA Champion Cleopatra Borel as the new throws assistant coach with the track & field programs.
Borel competed for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. She was a finalist in the shot put in 2016, finishing seventh with a throw of 18.37 meters. Borel is a five-time Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee Sports Woman of the Year.
Borel won the NCAA Indoor Championship in the shot put while competing for UMBC in 2002 with a throw of 17.50 meters. She is a three-time UMBC Student-Athlete of the Year.
“Coach Borel brings the right energy, focus and experience that our student-athletes need,” UTRGV head coach Shareese Hicks said. “She shares the vision of success and passion for positively impacting young people. We are so excited to have her join us and bring her championship mentality to UTRGV.”
Borel’s experience has translated into success for other student-athletes. As a volunteer assistant coach at Virginia Tech from 2003-08, Borel assisted with coaching nine NCAA Champions and more than 40 All-Americans in-part by demonstrating throwing and Olympic lifting techniques.
She went on to coach at Morgan State in 2009-10, implementing throwing technique and strength & conditioning programs that led her student-athletes to men’s MEAC Championships in the weight throw and javelin.
Borel is an inspiration off the field as well, having founded the Cleopatra Borel Foundation in 2016, which promotes youth empowerment through sport and education. Through her foundation, Borel has assisted the NiNa foundation in providing transitional housing for young women leaving state care, served as a mentor in the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development, distributed food and care packages to athletes and coaches, provided orthopedic equipment to para-athletes, and provided sporting equipment to local schools.
Borel served as an athlete representative on the Pan Am Sport Women in Sport Commission from 2018-21, focusing on promoting gender equity in sports.
Borel has also been a board member of the Trinidad Boxing Board of Control since 2016, during which time the board created a sustainable framework to develop the sport of boxing while using the sport as a conduit for youth and community development.
“I’m extremely excited to be coming to UTRGV,” Borel said. “Words can’t fully express how I feel. This is a great situation. I’ve waited quite some time to find a place that fits to this degree, and I have every confidence in Coach Hicks and the UTRGV Athletics family.”
Borel graduated from UMBC in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in INDS Health Psychology. She went on to earn her master’s in health and physical education from Virginia Tech in 2008. Borel is currently working on her thesis for a Master of Science in Sports Management at the University of the West Indies.
Borel replaces Brad Foote, who recently accepted a similar position at Northern Arizona.