JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) — Arkansas State Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee announced Thursday that ASU alumnus and 17-year coaching veteran Dr. Jim Patchell has been named the Red Wolves' new men's and women's head track and field coach.
Patchell brings prior coaching experience with four different NCAA-I track and field programs with him to Arkansas State, including stops at Campbell, Tulane, Arkansas and his alma mater. He most recently spent the last eight seasons as the head coach at Campbell, where he coached 133 all-conference performers, 34 NCAA regional qualifiers and 75 Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic selections.
"I'm an Arkansas State alumnus and the school means a great deal to me, so I was very excited when this wonderful opportunity presented itself," said Patchell, a four-year track and field letterman at A-State from 1990-93. "Arkansas State has a very attractive track and field program with its support, funding and rich tradition. I'm pleased with current condition of the program, but I also think we can take it to the next level, so I'm excited about that. My wife and I are from Arkansas and have been looking to come back home for some time, so we're thankful to Dr. Lee for giving me this opportunity and thrilled to be back in Arkansas again."
Responsible for building the track and field program at Campbell into one of the best in the Atlantic Sun Conference, Patchell led the Camels men's team to at least a third-place finish each of the last five years at the conference outdoor championships. He also led the men's squad to a third-place finish the last three years at the conference's indoor championships, while the women's team collected fourth place in 2010.
Over his last five seasons, 47 Camels wonA-Sun championships in an individual event, including 10 in 2011. During Patchell's eight-year tenure as head coach at Campbell, the Camels broke 44 school records. His student-athletes performed well in the classroom as well, recording a 99% graduation rate. He was also instrumental in a fund-raising campaign for a new $1.2 million track and field facility that was completed in May 2010.
"Coach Patchell comes in with strong recommendations and references from the coaches he has worked with in the past, and it is great to hire one of our own," said Lee. "We talk about pride and passion here at Arkansas State, and during the interview process it was very evident that he has both passion for and pride in the ASU Track and Field programs. With his knowledge and leadership ability, our track and field programs are positioned to compete very strongly in the Sun Belt Conference."
Prior to his time at Campbell, Patchell spent the previous three years as an assistant coach at Tulane. While at Tulane, Patchell coached both the men's and women's jumpers, hurdlers and multi-event athletes for each of his three seasons, helping to elevate the Green Wave to a national ranking. He also assumed responsibility for the cross country program and distance events during the 2002-03 campaign.
He helped lead Tulane to two Conference USA team championships, and the Green Wave sent 12 student-athletes to the NCAAChampionships during his tenure. Patchell also coached two All-America selections at Tulane.
A native of Heber Springs, Ark., Patchellalso served as men's assistant track coach at Arkansas from 1996-99, coaching pole vaulters and multi-event athletes. During his tenure with the Razorbacks, Arkansas won seven national championships - one in cross country, three indoors and three outdoor track.
In 17 years in the collegiate ranks, Patchell has served on the staff of some of the best track and field coaches in the country, including former Tulane head coach Ron Bazil and both John McDonnell and Dick Booth while at Arkansas.
Patchell graduated from Arkansas State in1993 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. While at ASU, he was a sprinter and hurdler for the track and field team under head coach Jay Flanagan. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at hisalma mater in 1994 and assisted with the training and coaching of sprinters and hurdlers. Patchell earned his M.S. in exercise science from Arkansas State in 1995.
Patchell then moved on to Arkansas, where in addition to his coaching duties, he served as a graduate instructor in the physical education department while working on a doctorate degree. Patchellcompleted his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Arkansas in December of 2007.
He is married to the former Dawn Politte and they have one son, Lane.