JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT & A-State Athletics) - An Arkansas State legend has passed away. Guy Kochel died Tuesday morning at the age of 78.
His work was integral as A-State track and field emerged on the national and international stage. Kochel led the Indian program from 1972 until 1989, winning 10 conference championships. He coached 32 All-Americans and 7 Olympians including Earl Bell and Al Joyner.
Bell sent the following statement to Region 8 Sports: “Coach Kochel was a great role model, mentor, & friend. He was a great coach, leader, and teacher. I was very lucky to have him in my life. We had a lot of good times and success together, but he made sure there was some learning going on, and he ALWAYS made sure you stayed humble. My thoughts and prayers are with Sue and his family.”
Current Arkansas State track & field coach Dr. Jim Patchell released this statement: “We are obviously saddened by the loss of Coach Kochel. He developed A-State track and field into a nationally-recognized program, and it clearly wouldn’t be at the level it is today without him. He was certainly a great man, and the number of lives he touched during and after his coaching career can’t be counted.”
Countless athletes & coaches took to social media to comment on Kochel’s legacy.