The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 9, 2013

New track and field coach helped Aggies win national championships

NORMAN — When Martin Smith became Oklahoma’s track and field coach in 2005, he was already a proven commodity.

He had coached Virginia and Wisconsin to cross country national championships and, in five years as Oregon track and field coach, he’d overseen a national power, one whose men’s team had just finished sixth at the 2005 NCAA track and field championships.

Smith, in what had to be considered a surprise move, resigned from OU three weeks ago to lead Iowa State’s track and cross country programs.

Monday, OU hired his successor.

Jim VanHootegem may not have the head coaching experience and record of Smith, or, as a career collegiate assistant, any one at all. On the other hand, kind of like Bob Stoops before he arrived in Norman, VanHootegem has experienced fabulous success as an assistant, helping to guide national championship teams and individuals over the last several years.

An assistant coach at Texas A&M from 2004 through the most recent NCAA outdoor season, VanHootegem has been associated with 12 NCAA Division I team championships as well as 27 conference championships.

Along with Aggie track coach Pat Henry, VanHootegem has helped to build one of the nation’s foremost collegiate track and field programs.

The A&M men claimed outdoor national championships in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, while the A&M women claimed national championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“We’re excited to welcome Jim VanHootegem as our head coach for men’s and women’s track and field and cross country,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “Jim has worked for and been mentored by some of the finest coaches in the history of intercollegiate track and field and has built his own distinguished pedigree as a coach.

“As we moved through the search process it was evident that Jim’s approach has always modeled the comparable core values and team concepts that guide our athletics programs here at OU.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

Facebook