NEW ORLEANS, La. – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association honored Texas Tech coaches Wes Kittley and Calvin Robinson, and sprinter Divine Oduduru, with national accolades Tuesday after the conclusion of the Red Raiders’ national championship season.
It is the first time a Texas Tech coach – head or assistant – has been honored with a national award by the USTFCCCA in its 50-year history. Tech has had a national athlete of the year seven times now, with the conclusion of Oduduru, but he is the first to have been honored for track and field.
Kittley was named the USTFCCCA’s National Men’s Outdoor Coach of the Year after securing his first NCAA Championship at the Division I level in Austin last weekend. Kittley’s Red Raiders racked up 60 points at what is being referred to as the toughest national meet in the history of the NCAA. His men’s team picked up three individual titles in the effort.
“I think the greatest thing about this is that this award is about my staff,” Kittley said. “None of us have cared about who gets the credit. When you don’t care about who gets the credit, everybody gets better. We all have one vision. You can’t win with two visions – you’ve got to have one.”
Thirty-six of Tech’s points – and two of its individual titles – came from the sprints group belonging to Robinson, who was named the National Men’s Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year. Robinson’s squad scorched the track on Tech’s championship day, setting school records in every sprints final of the day.
Robinson’s national recognition as the top assistant coach means a lot coming in his current role as head of the sprinters. While at UTEP, he took a risk by switching from being a jumps coach to a sprints and hurdles coach.
“We had a great year as a team by winning the team title,” Robinson said. “And that’s the most important thing to me. But, personally, this award is fulfilling because it’s a culmination of that decision I made a few years back to reinvent myself as a coach.”
Divine Oduduru was named the Co-Men’s Track Athlete of the Year. At the national meet, Oduduru ran down the program record in both the 100m and the 200m with times of 9.84 and 19.73, respectively. The former tied him for the world lead and the latter surpassed the 19.76 he ran in April – the then second-fastest time ever run by a collegiate – to make it so he now owns both the second- and third-fastest time in collegiate history. This was done after helping the 4x100 relay to a school record for the fourth consecutive time racing it this year.
Tech athletes to have previously been honored by the USTFCCCA for national awards are listed below.
Kennedy Kithuka – Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year (2012)
Sally Kipyego – Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year (2006, 2007, 2008)
Sally Kipyego – Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year (2008)
Sally Kipyego – Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year (2008)