JONESBORO, Ark. (11/2/23) – Arkansas State Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Jeff Purinton announced Thursday that Dr. Jim Patchell, the Red Wolves’ Director of Track & Field and Cross County, has received a five-year contract extension that runs through June of 2028.
Patchell, a 20-time Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Coach of the Year and the winningest track & field coach in school history, is currently in his 13th season directing the A-State men’s and women’s cross country and track & field programs.
“Jim Patchell is the most decorated track & field coach in Sun Belt Conference history and has guided our programs to unprecedented national success,” said Purinton. “The high level of achievement our track and field and cross programs have attained under his direction speaks for itself, competing for championships on a year in, year out basis.
“His teams and student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom, consistently earning All-Academic recognition. We look forward to having our track & field and cross country programs continue to operate under Coach Patchell’s invaluable leadership.”
A native of Heber Springs, Ark., Patchell took the helm at his alma mater in 2011. Since his arrival, the Red Wolves have won a school-record 27 conference titles between men’s and women’s cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field. Most recently, the women’s cross country team claimed its fourth league crown over the last five seasons this past weekend at the Sun Belt Conference Championships in Foley, Ala.
“I’m extremely grateful to (ASU System President) Dr. Welch, (Chancellor) Dr. Shields and Jeff for the confidence shown in myself, my staff and our program,” said Patchell. “I love Arkansas State – it’s my school, and to be afforded the chance to continue leading our track & field and cross country teams is truly a blessing. We will do our best to continue the great tradition of excellence that has been established by our program.”
Since the 2018-19 season, Patchell’s teams have finished either first or second in every track & field championship. During his tenure, A-State has established 56 current school records in men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field.
The Red Wolves have earned 23 SBC Indoor/Outdoor postseason awards since 2014, including most outstanding track performer, most outstanding field performer, freshman of the year and newcomer of the year. During that same 10-year span, A-State has seen 14 individuals qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships, while 35 have competed in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The Red Wolves have seen success at the NCAA Championships under Patchell’s guidance as well, collecting 44 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-America selections. The list includes Sharika Nelvis (2011-14), who became A-State’s first women’s individual national champion and was a top-three finalist for The Bowerman.
Patchell Receives Five-Year Contract Extension as A-State Director of Track & Field and Cross Country. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council