Red Raider coaches, student-athletes all over postseason award lists.
LUBBOCK, Texas – Dominant performances on the track carried over to dominant performances on awards lists Friday when the USTFCCCA and Big 12 announced their indoor award winners for the 2019 season.
Tech began by claiming five of eight possible USTFCCCA Mountain Region awards, including all four of the men’s honors. The sweep comes after Tech’s men’s team held tightly the nation’s top ranking all year long – a distinction they will carry into next weekend’s NCAA Indoor Championships. Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley was named the Head Coach of the Year for the third straight indoor season. Assistant coach Calvin Robinson was named the Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year after guiding Tech’s sprints group to the nation’s top ranking in both the 60m and 200m. Robinson’s men’s sprints group accounts for one-third of Tech’s travel party to nationals. It is the third time in four years Robinson has been voted the top men’s assistant in the region.
Associate Head Coach James Thomas was voted the Mountain Region’s Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year for the third time in four years as well. Thomas coached Tech’s jumps unit into one of the nation’s best in 2019, securing three national qualifiers in Zarriea Willis (high jump), Ivy Walker (long jump) and Chinne Okoronkwo (triple jump).
Of the athletes, Divine Oduduru was voted the Men’s Track Athlete of the Year after an indoor campaign that saw him grab the world lead in the 200m at 20.08. The junior is the first Red Raider to get the honor since Kennedy Kithuka and 2013. Others claiming the award for Tech include Gil Roberts (2009) and Zach Glavash (2006).
For the fifth-straight season, Odaine Lewis secured Men’s Field Athlete of the Year for Texas Tech. Lewis’ 2019 campaign has led him to a national rank of fourth in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump, putting him in position to earn First Team All-America honors in both events. Lewis was preceded by Trey Culver (2018), Charles Brown (2017), Bradley Adkins (2016) and Jacorian Duffield (2015).
Tech also grabbed two of the three Big 12 men’s awards, beginning with Kittley’s naming of Head Coach of the Year. Kittley solidified himself as the obvious choice after his men’s team racked up 179 points at the Big 12 Championships – the most ever – en route to the most dominant victory in the history of the conference. Kittley had seven men win individual conference championships.
Kittley was joined in conference recognition by Divine Oduduru, who was voted the Performer of the Year after rolling through Big 12s to win both the 60m and 200m in dominant fashion. At 20 points accounted for, Oduduru was the meet’s co-high points scorer.