NEW ORLEANS – Texas Tech Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley was named to the 2023 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Coaches Hall of Fame Class Tuesday afternoon.
Kittley will be one of six coaches that will be officially inducted into the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame at the 2023 USTFCCCA Convention on Tuesday, December 12. The five other coaches include John Harmon (Mount Union), Phil Lundin (Minnesota, St. Olaf), Donna Ricks (Northwest Missouri State, Minnesota State, Carleton), Martin Smith (Wisconsin, Oregon, Iowa State, Virginia, Oklahoma) and Victor Thomas (Lincoln (Mo.)).
The coaching journey for Kittley began soon after his running days for his alma mater, Abilene Christian (’81), as he became the head coach of the women’s track and field team there in 1983 and then the men’s head coach in 1993. Overall, between indoor and outdoor seasons, he led the ACU women’s team to 20 NCAA Division II titles, while the men’s side captured nine NCAA Division II titles.
Following the conclusion of the 1999 ACU outdoor season, Kittley was tabbed to lead the Red Raider programs in July, becoming the fourth head coach in men’s program history and the fifth head coach on the women’s side. Since that summer move, the Tech track & field and cross country teams have not looked back.
Slowly but surely, the Red Raiders started filling up the trophy case with regional and national awards as the first Big 12 title came in 2005 with the men’s claiming the outdoor conference championship. The program now holds eight overall trophies between indoors and outdoors, most recently sweeping with the 2023 titles.
Over on the cross country side, the women’s team captured three-straight conference trophies (2008-10), led by 2012 Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego, the first cross country athlete, male or female to win three-straight NCAA cross country individual titles.
Kittley’s 30th overall national title came in 2019 as the men’s track & field team claimed the outdoor title in Austin, Texas – the first national team title in Texas Tech men’s athletics history.
The upcoming season will be Kittley’s 25th in Lubbock, making him Tech’s longest tenured head coach. Nearly 300 Red Raiders have earned First Team All-American honors with well over 200 Big 12 Champions and 31 NCAA Champions. Since 2004, Texas Tech has had at least one Red Raider in the Olympic summer games with 2020 having six representatives.
Release provided by Chris Duarte Texas Tech Athletics