2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field National Awards

NEW ORLEANS — National Athletes and Coaches of the Year, presented by Pro Form Sports, for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season will be announced throughout the week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) following a two-tiered voting process.

Member coaches pared down a list of candidates to three finalists in each category last week: National Track Athletes of the Year, National Field Athletes of the Year as well as National Coaches of the Year and National Assistant Coaches of the Year.

Earlier this week, member coaches selected winners. The following are the currently revealed winners and the schedule of announcements to come.

National Men's Track Athlete of the Year

Trevor Bassitt of Ashland was named the National Men’s Track Athlete of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the second time in the past three years and the fourth time overall that an athlete from Ashland has earned this honor (Myles Pringle, 2018; Drew Windle, 2013-2014).

Bassitt did it all for the Eagles this past season as he was ranked among the top-3 nationally in each event in which he competed, ranging from the sprints/relays – 200 (No. 2, 20.80), 400 (No. 1, 46.33), 4×400 Relay (No. 3, 3:11.11) – to the 60 Meter Hurdles (No. 1, 7.75). The junior from Lima, Ohio, matched the third fastest all-conditions mark in NCAA DII history over 200 Meters at 20.80 in a runner-up effort at the GLIAC Indoor Championships, while moving up to No. 6 all-time in the hurdles earlier in the season at the Rod McCravy Memorial with his 7.75.

National Women's Track Athlete of the Year

Rene Medley of Lincoln (Mo.) was named the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the first time that an athlete from Lincoln (Mo.) has taken home this honor in award history.

Medley, a senior from Kingston, Jamaica, was the only female track athlete to lead the nation in two individual events. She held down the No. 1 spot in the 60 with her 7.37 and topped the nation in the 200 in 23.57, which was the fastest mark ever recorded on an oversized track in NCAA DII history. Medley scored 20 points at the MIAA Indoor Championships when she swept the 60 and 200 by 0.14 seconds and 0.21 seconds, respectively.

National Men's Field Athlete of the Year

Connor McLean of Colo. School of Mines was named the National Men’s Field Athlete of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season on Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the first time that an athlete from Colo. School of Mines has earned this honor in award history.

McLean, a senior from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, led the nation in the heptathlon with a score of 5630 points, which made him the fifth best performer in NCAA DII history. While he turned in that score in early December, he added another strong performance in the multi at the RMAC Indoor Championships where he broke the meet record. McLean also stood out in the pole vault, where he was ranked fourth nationally at 5.23m (17-1¾) and topped 5.05m (16-6¾) at five different meets. 

National Women's Field Athlete of the Year

Fatim Affessi of West Texas A&M was named the National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season on Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the third year in a row that Affessi has earned this honor, which has never been done in award history.

Affessi, a senior from Geneva, Switzerland, dominated the horizontal jumps this past season. It was in the long jump where her seasonal best of 6.37m (20-10¾) not only led the nation by more than 10 inches, but also made her the sixth best performer in NCAA DII history. Affessi posted five of the top-7 marks in the triple jump at the NCAA DII level, with her best mark coming in at 12.94m (42-5½).

National Men's Coach of the Year

Bryan Schiding of Missouri Southern was named the National Men’s Coach of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the first national honor for Schiding, who just wrapped up his seventh year with the Lions.

Schiding led Missouri Southern to the team title at the MIAA Indoor Championships despite being picked to finish fifth in the preseason. The Lions won three event titles at the conference meet and scored 144 points thanks to top-8 finishes in 14 different events.

Missouri Southern ended the regular season with six national top-10 marks, including an all-time mark from Rajindra Campbell in the shot put. Campbell was one of 10 entries that the Lions qualified to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

National Women's Coach of the Year

Jerry Baltes of Grand Valley State was named the National Women’s Coach of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the 16th national honor for Baltes in his legendary career. This is his sixth indoor honor – first since 2012 – to go along with seven in cross country and three more outdoors.

Baltes, who just finished his 21st year at Grand Valley State, led his team to a dominant performance throughout the season that was capped with a 127.5-point victory at the GLIAC Indoor Championships. The Lakers earned 22 top-8 finishes at the meet, including top-3 sweeps in 3000, 5000 and pole vault, as well as titles in six other events.

GVSU entered the NCAA Indoor Championships with 22 entries – the most of any team, regardless of gender – which doubled the next closest women’s team. The Lakers were stocked with talent in the distances (seven entries), jumps (five entries) and throws (four entries), among others.

National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year

Chris Siemers of Colorado School of Mines was named the National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the third national honor for Siemers, who just wrapped up his eighth season with the Orediggers. Siemers also received National Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year distinction in 2019 and 2015 following championship seasons.

Mines distance athletes struck gold under Siemers’ direction in 2020. Nine different athletes combined to hit 16 provisional qualifying marks: eight in the 5000, six in the 3000 and four more in the mile. In addition to that, Mines owned the top spot in the divisional USTFCCCA #EventSquad Rankings in the mile, 3000 and 5000.

The Orediggers were scheduled to have eight entries in distance events at the NCAA Indoor Championships, which were more than all but eight entire teams.

National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year

Brad Robinson of Indianapolis was named the National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

This is the first national honor for Robinson, who just wrapped up his fourth year with the Greyhounds.

Robinson oversaw an impressive effort by his distance athletes throughout the regular season. UIndy hit four automatic qualifying marks, which included NCAA DII-leading times in both the 800 from Berenice Cleyet-Merle at 2:06.80 and the 5000 from Lauren Bailey at 16:14.16.

The Greyhounds were especially strong at the GLVC Indoor Championships, where they posted event titles in the 800, mile and 5000 with Cleyet-Merle and Bailey doing the honors (Cleyet-Merle won the 800 and mile; Bailey won the 5000 in a conference record-setting time).