Jim Patchell, a six-time Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, is in his seventh season in 2017-18 directing the Arkansas State University men's & women's cross country and track & field programs.
In track, Patchell is in charge of coaching those A-State athletes who compete in the sprints, hurdles, and the horizontal jump events.
Since Patchell's arrival to his alma mater, the Red Wolves have achieved a high level of success in both cross country and track & field. In cross country, the 2013 women's team was crowned Sun Belt Conference (SBC) champions for the first time ever while the men's squad won its first outdoor championship since 2005 in 2016 and first indoor championship since 2007 in 2015. The women's squad was crowned outdoor champions in 2015, the first outdoor title since 2001. The men's squad earned indoor and outdoor conference titles in 2018, the first time A-State has won indoor and outdoor titles in the same season since the 1989 American South Conference Titles.
Since 2014, A-State has earned 19 Sun Belt Conference Indoor/Outdoor postseason awards including most outstanding athlete, most outstanding field athlete and most outstanding freshman. In the same span, A-State has had 11 individuals qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships while 64 have qualified for the NCAA Outdoor West Regional with 23 advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championship. Since 2014, A-State is home to a combined 68 individual championships at the Sun Belt Conference Indoor/Outdoor meets.
Individually, three-time USTFCCA All-America hurdler-sprinter Sharika Nelvis was both the 2014 NCAA Division I outdoor national 100-meter hurdles champion and indoor national 60-meter hurdles champion. She became A-State's first women's individual national champion and was a top three finalist for The Bowerman Trophy, also an A-State and Sun Belt Conference first. The 2013-14 campaign also featured USTFCCCA All-America honors bestowed upon Roelf Pienaar (indoor and outdoor), Richard Chavez (indoor), and Chris Nicasio (outdoor).
In the 2012-13 season, A-State women's cross country finished second place at the SBC meet and ninth at the NCAA South Central Regional. In track, the Red Wolves women's indoor team won the SBC Championships and finished runner up in the conference outdoor meet. The A-State men's squad turned in a second-place effort at the SBC Outdoor Championships.
Since his arrival, A-State has set 42 school records in both indoor and outdoor competition.
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. Prior to A-State, Patchell spent the eight seasons (2003-11) 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, an A-State four-year track and field letterwinner 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 for this opportunity and thrilled to be back in Arkansas again.”
Patchell made a positive impact on both the men's and women's program in his first year at A-State for the 2011-12 season. Under his tutelage, the men's and women's cross country teams earned Sun Belt Conference team gpa awards while the women's squad recorded a program-best second-place finish at the 2012 SBC Championships before producing their highest placing at NCAA Regionals with a ninth-place showing in the fall of 2012.
Patchell also had a number of A-State athletes compete in the NCAA Regional Championships as nine qualified. Individually Sharika Nelvis qualifed for both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships to go with earning second-team All-America recognition in the 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, and 100-meter dash. In cross country, Kristina Aubert became the first A-State runner in the program's history to qualify for the NCAA National Championship meet. Patchell was instrumental in the reinstatement of the annual Red Wolves Open (formerly the ASU Classic), which represented the school's first home meet in 12 years.
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 final five seasons at Campbell, 47 Camels won A-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.
Prior to his time at Campbell, Patchell spent the previous three years (2000-03) 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 NCAA Championships during his tenure. Patchell also coached two All-America selections at Tulane.
A native of Heber Springs, Ark., Patchell also served as men's assistant track coach at Arkansas from 1996-99, coaching pole vaulters and multi-event athletes. He finished up coaching at UA in the spring of 1999 before exclusively teaching exercise science in the fall of 1999. During his tenure with the Razorbacks, Arkansas won seven national championships - one in cross country, three in indoor track, and three in outdoor track.
In 20 years at the collegiate ranks, Patchell has served on the staff of some of nation's top track and field coaches such as former Tulane head coach Ron Bazil along with John McDonnell and Dick Booth both from Arkansas.
Patchell graduated from Arkansas State in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. While at A-State, 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 his alma 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. Patchell completed 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.
Patchell's Goals For ASU Cross Country and Track Programs
* Top 25 national ranking on an annual basis
* Contend for every Sun Belt Conference Championship and win share of titles
* Develop and recruit quality student-athletes who excel both academically and athletically
|Arkansas State, Head Coach||2011-present|
|Campbell, Head Coach||2003-11|
|Tulane, Assistant Coach||2000-03|
|Arkansas, Assistant Coach||1996-99|
|Arkansas State, Graduate Assistant Coach||1994-95|
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