Joe Vigil, USTFCCCA Class of 1999

Joe Vigil, head coach at Adams State College for nearly 30 years, is the consummate coach-scientist, one who combines systems of training, sport science and motivation towards having his athletes achieve at the highest levels.

Vigil led teams to 12 NAIA National Cross Country Championships and the 1995 NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championship, the last with a perfect score of 15 points. In cross country and track & field, Vigil’s teams won a total of 19 national championships. His overall record at Adams State stands at 94.2 percent with 3,014 wins and 176 losses.

For these accomplishments, Vigil was named National Coach of the Year on 14 different occasions. He also produced 425 All Americans and 87 individual national champions during his tenure at Adams State.

Vigil has also had success in coaching post-collegiate athletes, including 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist in the marathon, Deena Drossin Kastor. For eight years, he served as Chairman of The Athletics Congress’s (forerunner to USATF) Coaching Education Committee, and he was designated as a Master Coach by USA Track & Field in 1997.

Vigil has been inducted into the Adams State College Athletics Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, and the Lasse Viren Foundation Hall of Fame. He has served on 17 international coaching staffs including the World Cross Country Championships, the Pan American Games, the World Championships, and the Olympic Games. He was awarded Professor Emeritus of Adams State College in 1986 and the President’s Award from The Athletics Congress in 1989. He is an assistant coach on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, in charge of the distance runners.

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