CONVENTION: Beth Alford-Sullivan Honored With Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award

Beth Alford-Sullivan is this year’s recipient of the Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award.

Alford-Sullivan was feted on Tuesday during General Session of the 2022 USTFCCCA Convention at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center outside of Denver.

The Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to an individual who has gone above and beyond in the call of duty in their service to the Association and to the sports of cross country and track & field.

AWARD HISTORY: Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award

Alford-Sullivan, who is the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at UConn, served many roles over the years with the Association, namely USTFCCCA President from 2013 to 2015.

Being elected as President capped a ten-year ascension for Alford-Sullivan through the ranks. Alford-Sullivan started as 1st Vice President of NCAA Division I Track & Field in 2006, served on the USTFCCCA Board of Directors as the DI At-Large member from both 2007 to 2008 and 2011 to 2012, was NCAA Division I Track & Field President from 2009 to 2010 and then became USTFCCCA President from 2013 to 2015.

Alford-Sullivan began coaching in 1991 as an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State before taking her first head coaching job at Minnesota State in 1993. Following a short stint as women’s coordinator at Stanford, Alford-Sullivan went to Penn State in 1999, where she’d start as the head coach of the women’s program – add men’s duties in 2006 – before being promoted to Director of Track & Field and Cross Country in 2014. From there, Alford-Sullivan ventured to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she’d become the first woman to lead a men’s program in any sport in SEC history. Alford-Sullivan would remain with the Volunteers until 2022.

Athletes and teams coached by Alford-Sullivan have starred on both the conference and national stage. To date, Alford-Sullivan-coached teams have recorded eight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships – including a pair of podium placements in 2022 – and racked up nine team titles at various conference championships. Alford-Sullivan led athletes to more than a dozen NCAA event titles and upwards of 350 All-America honors. Under her watch, Christian Coleman won The Bowerman in 2017 as collegiate track & field’s most outstanding male athlete.