United States of America
TeamUnited States of America
Olympic Medals
Games Participations3
First Olympic GamesBarcelona 1992
Year of Birth1970


A three-time Olympian, Tonja Buford-Bailey was primarily known as an intermediate hurdler, with a bronze medal in that event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Buford-Bailey attended the University of Illinois, graduating in 1993. Her best year was 1995 when she won silver medals at the World Championships, the Pan American Games, and the Grand Prix Final. Her biggest win came in 2001 when she won the Grand Prix Final. She also won the NCAA title in 1992, and added a bronze medal at the 1991 Pan American Games. Buford-Bailey was Big Ten Track & Field Athlete of the Year in both 1992 and 1993, both indoors and outdoors, and won All-American honors 10 times. She was a member of the inaugural class of the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.

After leaving competition, Buford-Bailey turned to coaching and has also shone in that career. She was an assistant coach at her alma mater in 2004-07, when she was named an associate head coach. From 2008-13 she served as head coach at the University of Illinois. In 2013 she moved to the University of Texas as the Associate Head Coach. Buford-Bailey has won numerous coaching awards and honors. She was named Midwest Region Head Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2013, was the National Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year in 2014, and was National Women’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year in 2016. Her husband, Victor Bailey, played for four years in the NFL with both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Olympic Results

Athlete Olympic Results Content

You May Like