Registration Open For Whyte Track and Field Center Ribbon Cutting
When Oregon State decided to again compete in women's track and cross country after a 16-year layoff, it turned to a coach with experience both in the Pacific Northwest and at the NCAA Division I level.
Kelly Sullivan, 51, is the head coach charged with putting Oregon State back in the intercollegiate running for the first time since the spring of 1988. Sullivan, previously head coach at Willamette University in nearby Salem and head cross country and assistant coach at Auburn and Clackamas Community College, was introduced at Oregon State on Jan. 14, 2004 by Athletic Director Bob De Carolis.
"We're extremely excited to have Kelly on board," De Carolis said. "He has tremendous experience and is a high-caliber coach. Kelly has shown an ability to build programs both at Willamette and at Auburn, and being a native Oregonian, he has ties to the area and knows it well. He also has a tremendous knowledge of recruiting."
For the Nehalem, Ore., native, the opportunity at OSU was too good to pass up.
"I told people over the last 10 to 12 years that one of my dream jobs would be to coach at Oregon State if they ever started women's track again and that it would be an ideal situation for me," Sullivan said. "When it was announced that OSU was reinstating cross country and track, I was very excited - both for the university to have the sports again and for a possible opportunity to coach at OSU."
Now entering his third year at Oregon State, Sullivan continues to lead a young team to breaking records and receiving numerous accolades.
Last season, Sullivan led the team to a 12th place finish at the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships, and a eighth place finish at the Pacific-10 Championships. He also coached 13 different athletes that jumped into Oregon State's All-Time Top 10 Outdoor Track list. Ten runners were selected onto the Pac-10 All-Academic Team and the number of qualifying runners with qualifying marks doubled from year one of the program. Junior Ashley Younce became the team's first ever West Regional Championship qualifier by running 16:50 for 5,000 meters. Younce also scored OSU's first points at the Pac-10 outdoor championships by placing 5th in the 10,000m with a time of 35:31, a new school record.
In over two decades of coaching, Sullivan has earned 24 conference or regional Coach of the Year honors in cross country and track and field, including the 2002 and 2003 NCAA West Region Track Coach of the Year for men and women.
Sullivan had been at Willamette since 1997 and he revitalized the men's and women's programs there. A 1979 NAIA All-American in the steeplechase and cross country at WU, he was the 2003 Northwest Conference women's cross country Coach of the Year after leading his alma mater to the NWC title in 2003.
Sullivan guided the WU men's track and field team to a sixth-place finish nationally in 2003, while the men's cross country squad was fifth in 2002. In 2003, his women's cross country team placed eighth nationally - the highest finish in school history - and he guided the Bearcats to their first-ever NWC women's cross country title in 2000. Sullivan mentored 23 Division III All-Americans at Willamette, including individuals who won five national championships.
Before coaching the Bearcats, Sullivan was head men's and women's cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Auburn from 1984-96. Sullivan jump-started a lagging women's team at Auburn after the men's and women's programs were combined; he'd already coached a number of successful men's teams at Auburn. During that time, Sullivan's 1985 men's team finished 12th at the NCAA Championships; Sullivan's female athletes broke every Auburn distance record and earned their first and only trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1994 and 1995.
At Auburn, Sullivan coached 36 All-Americans in cross country and track, including 1988 steeplechase Olympian and former American indoor 3000 meter record holder Brian Abshire who started with Sullivan at Clackamas CC prior to transferring when Sullivan took the job at Auburn. Sullivan also coached the first female distance All-American in school history. His last two women's teams placed 16th and 13th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, just six years after he took over the women's distance program.
Prior to coaching at Auburn, Sullivan headed the cross country program and was the assistant track and field coach at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore., coaching 24 NJCAA All-Americans from 1980-84. His men's cross country teams won four straight Oregon Community College titles and four straight NJCAA West Regional titles. His 1981 and 1983 teams were fourth at the NJCCA Cross Country Nationals while the 1982 team was NJCCA runner-up. These are still the four highest finishes at the NJCCA Cross Country Nationals in school history. For these accomplishments, Sullivan was inducted into the National Junior College Hall of Fame in 1986.
In 2001, Sullivan served as an assistant track and field coach for Team USA at the World Track and Field Championships.
Sullivan graduated from Neah-Kah-Nie High in Rockaway Beach, Ore. In 1990, Sullivan was inducted Neah-Kah-Nie High Hall of Fame. At Willamette, he earned a bachelor of science degree in History and Education.
He is married to the former Debbie Fletcher and they have three children: Matt (19), Logan (14) and Karissa (13). Sullivan enjoys traveling, reading and all sports.
The Kelly Sullivan Resume
B.S. History and Education, Willamette University
Distance Runner, 1975-77-Clackamas Community College. 1977-1979-Willamette University. 1979 NAIA All-American in cross country and the 3000m Steeplechase.
Clackamas Community College: 1980-1984
Head Cross Country and Assistant Coach Track/Field (Head Coach: Buck Monroe)
Auburn University: 1984-1996. Head Men's Cross Country Coach and Assistant Coach Track/Field.
Head Women's Cross Country/Assistant Coach from 1988-1996. Served under Head Track Coach Mel Rosen (Olympic Head Coach 1992) from 1984-92 and then along side Harvey Glance (Four-time Olympian) from 1992-96.
Willamette University: 1997-Dec, 2003: Head Track and Cross Country Coach for Women/Men's Team
24 conference or regional Coach of the Year honors in cross country and track and field.
USA Team Assistant Coach - World Track & Field Championships: 2001 - Edmonton, Canada. Assistant Men's Coach in charge of distance events for the USA Olympic Festival - Colorado Springs, Colorado 1994.
USATF Men's Distance Development Chair 1992-2004. Oversaw development of 1500m, 5000m, 10000m, 3000m steeple and marathon and traveled extensively overseas with the USA Emerging Elite Distance team. From 1988-92, Sullivan was an Assistant with Men's Development working with the 3000m Steeplechase.
Sullivan's Oregon State Cross Country/Track & Field Success
Top Ten: Thirteen All-time top-ten qualifiers from the 800m to the 10k, including Ashley Younce's 10k school record.
2006 cross country season: Three Invitational Team victories, first time in program's history.
2004 Cross country: Nine athletes receive first team Pac-10 academic honors. Team received All-American Academic team, 3.59 GPA, 5th Highest in Country.
2005 Cross Country: Ten athletes qualified for first team Pac-10 academic honors. 3.49 GPA. Team received All-American Academic team, 34th highest in Country.
2006 Track season: Ashley Younce earns Academic All-American award, program's first individual All-American.
2006 Cross Country season: Fourteen Athletes receive first team Pac-10 honors, highest in conference.
2004 Cross Country through 2006 Cross Country season combined: Oregon State had 33 Academic All-Pac 10 honors, 2nd highest in the Pac-10 conference.
Individual Success of female distance Runners that Sullivan has coached
Rachel Kinsman (Sauder) of Archbold, Ohio was a seven-time NCAA All-American in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field while competing at Auburn. She also was a USA Olympic Trials qualifier in 2000 and 2004 in the 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and marathon. She was part of the bronze medal winning 8,000 meter USA World Cross Country team. She came out of high school with personal bests of 2.19 for 800m, 4.45 for 1500m, and 10.24 3000m. She improved to 2.08 for 800m, 4.17 for 1500m, 16.11 for 5000m and 33.25 for 10,000m while at Auburn. Eventually, Rachel lowered her personal bests to 2.06 for 800m, 4.12 for 1500m, 15.33 for 5000m, 32.28 for 10,000m and 2.38 for the marathon.
Janet Trujillo of Albuquerque, NM was a six-time NCAA All-American in cross country and track while competing at Auburn. She also was a 2000 and 2004 USA Olympic Trials qualifier in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters. She improved from 2.19 in the 800 and 4.46 in the 1500m coming out of high school to 2.08 for 800m and 4.20 for 1500 in her first 3 years at Auburn. Eventually, she ran 2.02 for 800m for 4.10 for 1500m and qualified twice for the World Cross Country Championships and was a 1500m finalist for the Olympic trials in 2004.
Beth Rainford of McCall, Idaho was a four-time NCAA Division III All-American in cross country and track. She was the 1999 NCAA Division III 800 meter national champion. She is currently competing for the Greater Boise Running Club in Idaho. She came out of high school a 200m/400m runner who never ran high school cross country. Coach Sullivan convinced her to come out and run for him when he took over the Program at Willamette. Eventually, she ran 2.09 for 800m, and 17.24 5k cross country at the NCAA Division III Cross country Championships.
Lisa Starkey of Penryn, California was a 2-time NCAA Div III All-American at 800m. She improved her high school personal best in the 800m from 2.23 to 2.09 while at Willamette which is the school record.
USA Olympic Trials Qualifiers that Coach Sullivan has coached
Brian Abshire: 1988, 1992 and 1996 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters. His high school pr's were 4.18 mile, and 9.10 two-mile. Eventually, he improved to 1.49 for 800m, 3.55 mile indoors, 7.41.57 for 3000m indoors (American record), 13:30 for 5000m, and 8.20.83 for 3000m Steeplechase. Brian was the 1988 USA Olympic trials 3000m steeplechase winner and member of 1988 US Olympic team. He started with Coach Sullivan at Clackamas Community college , transferred to Auburn where he was 2 time All-American in Cross Country, All-American for 3000m indoors, and two-time All-American in the 3000m Steeplechase.
Rachel Cook: 2000 in the marathon. Rachel was a former walk-on at Auburn University. She ran 2.40 in the marathon and represented the USA at the 2001 World Championships held in Edmonton, Canada.
Susannah Beck: 2000 in the marathon. Post-collegiate. Sullivan coached her from 1997-99 where she lowered her 10k personal best to 33.01 prior to moving up to the marathon under the guidance of close friend Mike Dilley.
Michel Bogert: 2000 in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Post-collegiate from 1996-98. Trained along side Sauder and Beck while living in Oregon.
Carrie Morales: 2000 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Made All-America at Willamette University in 1997 in 1,500 meters.
Scott Strand: 1996, 2000 and 2004 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and the marathon. Scott was a former walk-on at Auburn, who had high school pr's of 4.49 for the mile, and 9.52 for 3200m (two-mile). He never ran cross country in high school. He ran 3.45 for 1500m., 8.11 for indoor 3000m, and 8.41 for 3000m Steeplechase. While at Auburn University, he earned an All-American certificate in the 3000m Steeplechase. Eventually, he improved his personal bests to 1.50 in 800, 3.41 for 1500m, 7.53 for 3000m, 8.32 for 3000m Steeplechase, 13.45 for 5000m, 28.40 for 10,000m , and 2.15 for the marathon. Co-Meet Director of the 2004 USA Olympic marathon trials held in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Represented the USA on two world cross country teams.
Brian Jaeger: 1988 and 1992 in the 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters and 3,000 meter steeplechase. While at Auburn, Brian ran 3:41 for 1500 meters, 7:58 for indoor 3000 meters, and 13:38 for 5000 meters. He was a six-time All-American in track and field.
Jim Cooper: 1992 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Post-collegiate athlete.
Greg Metcalf: 1996 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Post-collegiate athlete, personal best was 8:33 for 3000 meter steeplechase.
Jason Cullinane: 1996 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Post-collegiate athlete, personal best was 8:41 for 3000 meter steeplechase.
Peter Pritchett: 1996 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Post-collegiate athlete, personal best was 8:38 for 3000m Steeplechase.