Oregon has hired Ben Thomas to take over the middle distance and distance coaching duties, filling the major void left by Andy and Maurica Powell, the former associate head coach and assistant coach. Thomas was introduced Monday as the associate head coach for cross country and track and field.
“We are beyond thrilled to welcome Ben and his family to Eugene,” said head coach Robert Johnson in a press release. “Ben has transformed the distance program at Virginia Tech, and has a proven record of success in recruiting, developing and mentoring student-athletes. We believe Ben will guide our distance program to heights that honor the incredible legacy of distance running here at the University of Oregon, and help take us into an exciting new era for Oregon track and field.”
Thomas leaves his alma mater with after 17 years with a strong distance résumé. He was the 2012 ACC cross country coach of the year and coached 29 All-Americans.
“I am humbled to be given this awesome opportunity,” Thomas said in the release. “I’d like to thank head coach Robert Johnson and the administration at Oregon for entrusting me with this position.”
Oregon track and field will have an interesting season with Hayward Field now demolished and the construction of the state-of-the-art stadium underway. After a seventh place finish in the women’s outdoor championship and a 35th place finish for the men, Thomas will look to get both teams back to the top.
That will all start with the cross country season in the fall.
“I am excited to get started in helping the men and women of Oregon reach their considerable potential,” Thomas said. “I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to help launch a new era at Hayward Field and add to the championship legacy of Oregon track and field and cross country.”
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack