A-State’s Patchell signs three-year contract

Arkansas State’s Jim Patchell, shown during an indoor track and field meet in 2020, has agreed to a new three-year contract to lead the university’s track and field and cross country programs.

JONESBORO — Thirteen-time Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year Jim Patchell has agreed to a new three-year contract to lead the Arkansas State track and field and cross country programs, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Tom Bowen announced Tuesday.

The new deal runs through 2024 and begins with the 2021-22 athletic season.

“We are excited that Coach Patchell has agreed to a new contract to continue leading our track and field and cross country programs,” Bowen said. “It was amazing watching our student-athletes compete for a Sun Belt Conference sweep outdoors and others going on to compete on the national stage this past season. He has built a program that consistently competes for championships and excels academically, which embodies our core values for all of our student athletes: ‘a diploma in one hand and a championship ring on the other.’ I look forward to seeing him continue to lead our program to conference titles and rise among the national ranks.”

Since taking over before the 2011-12 season, Patchell has led the Red Wolves to record-setting heights. ASU has combined for 16 conference titles between women’s cross country (3) and men’s indoor (4) and outdoor (3) track and field, as well as women’s indoor (3) and outdoor (3) track and field.

“I’m extremely grateful for the confidence and support Tom and (ASU Chancellor) Kelly (Damphousse) have shown to me and my staff,” Patchell said. “We are all looking forward to continuing the success our program has had both on the track and in the classroom.”

This past season was arguably one of the greatest in ASU track and field history, as the Red Wolves won five of the six possible conference championships, including the women taking the first Sun Belt Conference triple crown in program history. On the national stage, a program-record 17 athletes competed at the NCAA West Prelims, with two advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships and one competing at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

ASU scored 59 of 61 possible points for track and field and cross country in the 2020-21 standings for the Vic Bubas Cup, the Sun Belt’s all-sports trophy.

In the school record books, 24 current indoor records and 26 outdoor marks have occurred in the Patchell era, with 11 marks happening in the 2020-21 season.