Through his participation in the Knoxville Track Club Youth Athletics
Program, Tony Cosey began to lay the foundation for his professional running
career. In 1991, Tony was the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Nationals (Young
Men's Division) runner-up in the 1500 meters (3:59). Also in the 1991
AAU Nationals, Tony anchored KTC's National Championship 4x800 relay (7:52).
At Central High School in Knoxville, Cosey was state champ in Cross-Country
in 1990-1991 and state champ in the 1600 meters in 1992 and 3200 meters
in 1991, and earned two state records: 1600 meters (4:11), cross-country
(14:54). He was 12-time Knoxville Scholastic League (KIL) champion between
cross-country, 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3200 meters. On the national
level, Cosey was a Footlocker Cross-Country National All-American in 1991,
while representing the KTC Youth Athletics Program.
Cosey was a 7-time All-American for the University of Tennessee track
and cross-country team in the indoor 3000m, outdoor 5000m, outdoor 10,000m,
and the outdoor 3000m steeplechase. At the NCAA Cross-Country Championships,
he placed 28th in 1994 and 7th in 1995. In the SEC Cross-Country Championships,
Cosey was 4th in 1993, 3rd in 1994 and 3rd in 1995. At the NCAA Championships,
Cosey twice finished 4th in the indoor 3000m, finished 5th in the outdoor
10k and 9th in the 5k and 4th in the steeplechase. Cosey was Mt. SAC Relays
Champion and Penn Relays Champion, both at the 3000m steeplechase, as
well as an SEC and USATF National Champion in the distance medley relay.
After his UT career, Cosey competed in the 1996 Olympic Trials and became
a professional athlete after signing his first contract with Adidas. He
represented the United States in three World Cross-Country Championships.
In 1997, he competed in the World Goodwill Games, and in 1998 he represented
the US in the World University Games. In 1998, Cosey took 3rd place in
the 3000m at the US Indoor Track Championships.
Cosey's personal best in the steeplechase came when it mattered most
- he ran 8:21.41 in the 2000 Olympic Trials, where he finished 3rd and
qualified for the 2000 US Sydney Olympic team. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics,
Cosey finished 10th in the semifinals with a time of 8:35.25 and 24th
overall. He is the only Knoxville-born track Olympian.
Cosey was on the KTC Board of Directors for two years and has served
on numerous civic and national boards. He was a member of the Board of
Directors for USA Track and Field for five years and served on their Audit
Committee, Budget Committee, World and Olympic Coaches Selection Committees,
and Ethics Committee. He was Vice-Chairman for the Athletes Advisory Council,
and served on the Road Runner Council, Long Distance Executive Committee,
and Cross-Country Executive Committee.
Cosey coached the Christian Academy of Knoxville cross-country team to
their first Tennessee state title in 2012 and second place in 2013, and
a fourth place for CAK in the state track & field finals. Cosey is the
head coach for the CAK men's and women's program in both sports.
Cosey is also the current TSSAA A-AA Regional Director for both track
& field and cross-country. He is the meet director annually for the TSSAA
A-AA Sub-Sectionals and the Sectionals held at CAK.
Cosey was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in
2006. He and wife Kathryn have three children, Taylor, Mason, and Baker
(two of whom have participated in the KTC Youth Athletic Program).