Director of Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country
At Texas Tech 19 NCAA Champions 206 First Team All-Americans 127 Big 12 Champions 5 Big 12 Team Championships 10 Olympians 6 Olympic Medalists 5 Top-5 NCAA Team Finishes 12 Top-10 NCAA Team Finishes
Texas Tech Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley completed his 16th season at the helm of the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders in 2015. The architect of a track and field dynasty at nearby Division I Abilene Christian, Kittley has built the Texas Tech program into a perennial power on the national stage throughout the past decade. Under his tutelage, Texas Tech has produced 10 Olympic Qualifiers, six Olympic Medalists, 19 national champions, over 200 All-Americans and 127 Big 12 Champions.
History was made by the Red Raiders in 2015. JaCorian Duffield and Bradley Adkins not only went 1-2 in the men's high jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but they duplicated their performances at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. The duo became the first teammates since 1939 (Southern California) to go 1-2 at the outdoor championships and the first teammates to go 1-2 at both the indoor and outdoor championships in the history of the NCAA. Duffield and Adkins represented four of Tech's 11 first team All-America accolades earned during the indoor and outdoor meets. Cierra White (200m) and Hannah Carson (javelin) picked up outdoor first team honors, while Shanice Stewart (long jump), Chris Caldwell (60mH), Kole Weldon (shot put), the men's 4x400 relay team of Steven Champlin, Kyle Collins, Joseph Richards III and C.J. Jones, Le-Tristan Pledger (60mH) and White (200m) tallied indoor first team awards.
The Red Raiders also had successful conference showings, notching eight Big 12 Champions. The men's team earned its highest overall finish in Big 12 Indoor Championship history, finishing runner-up with 95.5 points. Caldwell won the 60-meter hurdles and Duffield claimed the high jump title, while Cierra White broke a school and facility record in the women's 200-meter dash to pick the Big 12 crown. At the outdoor meet, the men's squad repeated with a second-place finish, getting individual titles from Weldon (hammer throw), Duffield (high jump), and Caldwell (100mH). Weldon was also named the high point scorer for the meet with 26 points, becoming the first male to repeat as Big 12 Outdoor high point scorer since 2009. Natalie Thompson (heptathlon) and Carson (javelin) picked up conference championships, helping the women's team to a third-place finish.
The 2014 season may have been his most special in Lubbock to this point. Texas Tech capped the outdoor season by winning the men's team title at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, scoring a school-record 160.5 points in front of the home crowd at the Terry and Linda Fuller Track & Field Complex. The Red Raiders became the first Big 12 team to clinch a track & field title on its own track since Colorado, in 2008. Tech picked up conference titles from Kennedy Kithuka (5,000m & 10,000m), Bradley Adkins (High Jump) and Shujaa Benson (Long Jump) on the outdoor side, and on the indoor side, Tech picked up a conference title from its 4 x 400m relay team of Montenae Roye-Speight, Cierra White, Christen Rivers and Amoy Blake. Bradley Adkins and JaCorian Duffield earned indoor first team All-American honors after tying for fifth in the high jump at the NCAA Championships. On the outdoor side, Kithuka wrapped up his illustrious career by snagging first team All-American honors in both the 5,000m and 10,000m. He was joined by first-teamers Hannah Carson (Javelin), Le'Tristan Pledger (100mH) and Cierra White (200m).
Kittley also guided Texas Tech to a Big 12 team title at the 2005 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships as the Red Raiders won the meet with 149.50 points.
In 2013, Kittley's program produced 21 First and Second Team All-Americans between the indoor and outdoor seasons. Meanwhile, Tech crowned six individual Big 12 Champions and two national champions. Kennedy Kithuka and Bryce Lamb captured Texas Tech's first national titles in their respective events. Kithuka capped his remarkable 2013 campaign with a national championship in the indoor 3,000-meter run while Lamb brought his indoor career to a close with a national championship in the triple jump. As a team, Texas Tech finished 5th overall at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships with 28 points - the best finish in program history. Tech went on to finish third at the 2013 Big 12 Outdoor Championships with 117.5 points - the best performance at the conference meet since 2005.
At the 2012 London Olympics, the Texas Tech track and field program was represented with a contingent of seven former athletes - all of whom competed at Texas Tech during Kittley's tenure. The group brought home three medals - a gold, silver and bronze. In the fall of 2012, Texas Tech produced the men's NCAA Cross Country Champion as Kennedy Kithuka went undefeated in seven meets during on his way to taking home the NCAA crown, and being named the 2012 Male Athlete of the Year.
Kittley has been recognized nationally for his efforts at Texas Tech as he has twice been named the Women's Regional Coach of the Year in the last four years. Kittley most recently earned the recognition following the 2012 season after receiving the award in 2009. Kittley and his renowned coaching staff have produced 11 NCAA Champions in the last eight seasons. Kipyego made history as an athlete under Kittley and his staff. The Kenyan native broke the NCAA record with nine national titles during her career in both track and field and cross country before going on to qualify for the Kenyan Olympic team. At the 2012 London Olympics she won silver in the 10,000-meter run before nearly medaling again in the 5,000-meter run and finishing fourth.
Meanwhile, thrower D'Andra Carter went on to win Tech's second national title of 2009 during the outdoor season as she became Texas Tech's first discus national champion. She was followed by Julian Wruck who won a men's discus title during the 2011 outdoor season.
Texas Tech brought home a total of 32 All-America honors during the unprecedented 2010 season, 17 indoor and 15 outdoor honors being claimed by Red Raiders and Lady Raiders under Kittley's watch. Following the 2005 men's Big 12 Championship meet, Kittley led 31 of his athletes, the most of any program in the country to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Kittley moved to Lubbock after leading one of the most successful programs in the history of collegiate track and field. While at Abilene Christian University, Kittley won an unprecedented 29 national track and field championships, the most in Divisions I and II combined. His total is only three short of the all-time record held by Division III Kenyon College swimming and diving coach Jim Steen. Kittley won his first national championship in 1985 when his women's Wildcat squad won the Division II outdoor championship, a title he would win again in `86, `87 and `88. When ACU combined their programs in 1993, Kittley was selected to head the men's team, as well. He wasted no time taking a floundering men's program to an elite level, winning the Division II indoor title in his first season. His 15-year tenure at ACU included coaching 10 Olympic qualifiers, three Pan-American Games athletes, five World University Games athletes, 16 athletes who have qualified for the world championships and three United States national champions.
In the fall of 2006, Kittley was honored by the Lone Star Conference for his coaching efforts while at ACU as he was named to the conference's Hall of Honor. Kittley is married to the former Linda Rhoads, and the couple has three sons, Zachary, Christopher and Jonathan. 2000-present Texas Tech University Head Coach 1993-99 ACU, Men's Head Coach 1985-99 ACU, Women's Head Coach