South Plains’ Beene & Wiley Sweep Inaugural NJCAA National Coach of the Year Awards
NEW ORLEANS – It was a South Plains sweep of the men’s and women’s national team titles at the 2015 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Texans/Lady Texans claimed another sweep Tuesday, as head coach Chris Beene earned both Men’s and Women’s Head Coach of the Year honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, and associate head coach Blaine Wiley earned Men’s and Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year plaudits.
These are the first national awards bestowed to the NJCAA by the USTFCCCA. National Athletes of the Year were also announced Tuesday.
The two men were chosen for the awards by a national vote of their NJCAA coaching peers earlier this week.
Beene, in his 11th year guiding the South Plains program, and Wiley, in his ninth year coaching the sprints/hurdles/relays/jumps at the school, led the men to a 136-116 victory over Central Arizona to live up to the No. 1 rank they maintained for all but the first edition of the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings.
Likewise, his women secured a national title with a 147.5-135 win over Iowa Central CC for their fourth title since 2009. The win was an upset of sorts, as Iowa Central had earned the top spot in the USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings in four of the six weeks. South Plains was the No. 1 team in the country in early February.
En route to winning the women’s national title, his Lady Texans won eight event titles: 60 meters, 400 meters, 600 meters, 800 meters, 4×400 relay, distance medley relay, the pole vault and the triple jump. His women’s squad also notched a pair of runner-up finishes and two more third-place efforts.
Both Domonique Williams and Chrisann Gordon earned three titles apiece, including the two combining forces for a distance medley relay title. Gordon won at 600 and 800 meters, while Williams took the 400 meter title – an event in which Gordon set the NJCAA record earlier this season – and ran a leg of the 4×400.
The men’s team was powered by five event wins: 60 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters the 4×800 relay and the heptathlon. The Texan’s were a near-constant presence on the award stand, with five more runner-up finishes and four more third-place showings.
Antibahs Kibiwott Kosgey was the lone man at the meet to earn four USTFCCCA All-America honors, one of which came in the winning 4×800.