Waldrop has served since 2010 as provost and executive vice president at the University of Central Florida. He will begin his job at the University of South Alabama in April, following a unanimous vote by its Board of Trustees.
Waldrop set the world indoor record (3:55.0) in the mile in 1974. He was a six-time All-American at North Carolina, one of which was earned when he finished 11th at the 1973 NCAA Men's Division I Cross Country Championship, which he calls his proudest running accomplishment. He was the NCAA indoor 1,000 yard champion in 1973 and the NCAA indoor mile champion in 1974. He also won a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games in the men's 1500 meters and ran the mile in 3:53.2 for a win at the Penn relays in 1974.
Waldrop ran track for the University of North Carolina and graduated in 1974 with a degree in political science. After retiring from running he entered graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill and earned a Ph.D. in physiology. From 2001 until becoming provost at UCF in 2010, he served as vice chancellor for research and economic development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to that he was vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.