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July 16, 2014

Wayne Angel named head coach of Tech cross country, track programs


By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A veteran coach who has delivered successful programs and individual winners at every college and high school he has directed, Wayne Angel has been named cross country and track & field head coach at Tennessee Tech University.

Angel comes to the Golden Eagles after four years at Florida A&M, and has a resume that includes leading top-notch programs at the University of Illinois, Iowa and Wichita State, along with stops at UT Martin and high school programs in Illinois and Indiana.

“I’m excited about Tennessee Tech, the school, the people, the community, and honored to be part of the TTU family,” Angel said. “I look forward to competing for championships down the road, and doing my part to help win the OVC Commissioner’s Cup.

“We have only one place to go right now and that’s up,” he said of the Tech running programs. “Tennessee Tech is a great opportunity. The programs are sleeping giants. We have the resources and a strong commitment from the administration, and I think the sky is the limit. It’s just a question of me getting out there and recruiting great athletes and developing the ones we have now.”

Angel’s coaching resume features several outstanding programs, most recently at Florida A&M, where he took a struggling Rattler program to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship. Prior to FAMU, he spent six seasons as men’s head coach at the University of Illinois from 2003 to 2009.

“We are excited for the direction that we feel our track and field and cross country programs will be headed in the coming years under Wayne Angel,” said Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. “Coach Angel has done a tremendous job and every program he has led, he has turned them into winners. We think he can achieve similar results at Tennessee Tech.

“He connects with his student-athletes, he does a remarkable job of recruiting and identifying young talent, and he is an outstanding teacher and coach who knows how to develop his athletes to become the very best they can be. We’re fully committed to building winning programs at Tennessee Tech in cross country and track and field, and Wayne Angel is the right person to work with our student-athletes to reach our goals.”

At Florida A&M, he lifted the men’s cross country program from the bottom of the MEAC to back-to-back conference championships. In track & field, he coached All-Americans in the long jump and triple jump. He was twice named the MEAC Outstanding Coach of the Year, guiding more than 40 all-MEAC winners and three MEAC individual cross country champions and 12 individual MEAC champions in track and field.

While at Illinois, he produced 30 Big Ten Champions (14 individual / four relays). In 2006, Angel had 23 top NCAA finishes, 17 All-Americans and his 4x400-meter relay team finished as runner up. In addition, he developed 17 NCAA Championship qualifiers, two regional champions in the 400-intermediate hurdles in 2004.

At Illinois, Angel produced an Olympian, who participated in the 2008 Games in Beijing, China, had two individuals participate in the 2004 Olympic trials and coached a Canadian National Champion.

Before entering the college coaching ranks, Angel was a highly successful head track and field coach at Pike High School in Indianapolis, Ind., from 1993-1998. He led his 1997 girl’s team to an undefeated season (15-0), the Indiana State High School Championship and a No. 17 national ranking. The team was state runner-up in 1998. Angel's Red Devils won three conference and four regional championships during his tenure. He also received numerous Coach of the Year honors during this period.

Angel's collegiate coaching career began in 1998 when he became the head men's and women's cross country coach and assistant men's and women's track and field coach at UT Martin. He guided one first-team all-OVC performer and three school-record setters.

In 1999, he was named head cross country coach and assistant track coach at Wichita State, where he was part of two Missouri Valley Championship Outdoor Championships (2000, 2001) and his runners captured numerous conference individual titles. His 2001 cross country team finished second in the Missouri Valley Championship and was in the USA top 30. During his tenure at Wichita State, Angel's athletes accounted for nine school track records, and he coached five athletes to NCAA or provisional qualifying times as well as five Missouri Valley titles.

Angel ventured to the University of Iowa in 2002, where he became the head women's cross country coach and assistant men's and women's track and field coach.

In the spring of 2003, Angel made a move within the Big Ten when he was named the men's cross country and track and field head coach at the University of Illinois. The former world-class 400-meter hurdler and Illinois alum made an immediate impact on the Illini track and field program.

Angel established himself as one of the top sprint and middle distance coaches in the Big Ten. In his six seasons at his alma mater, Angel coached and developed two Olympic Trial participants, seven All-Americans that earned 15 All-America citations, 31 Big Ten Champions, one NCAA Regional Champion and record holder, and 69 All-Big Ten accolades. In all, 12 school records fell in his six years.

This Rantoul, Illinois native holds a B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign (1982), where he was a stellar track and field athlete for the Fighting Illini.

He was a two-time Big Ten Champion as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team. He set the school record in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 50.56 seconds in 1982 and currently ranks fourth on the school's all-time list in the event.

Angel was a tri-captain for the Illini in 1981, winning his first Big Ten title at the 1981 Big Ten Indoor Championships in the 4x4 relay with a time of 3:12.7, then claiming the same title outdoors with a time of 3:08.1. He also finished fourth for the Illini at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in the 500-meters and fourth in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles outdoors.

The new Golden Eagle coach is a former Army Airborne Ranger, and a distinguished honor graduate of the Army's Air Assault School. He is a three-time Gold Medalist at the World Military Games and holds the Armed Forces record in the 400-meter hurdles. In addition, Angel was an Olympic Trials participant in 1980 in Eugene, Ore., and again in Los Angeles in 1984. During his competitive career, he represented the United States in international competitions in Finland, Korea, Germany, Egypt, Algeria, Mexico and Great Britain.

Angel has served as the sprint coach at the World Scholar Athlete Games in Rhode Island and served as the sprint coach for Latvia at the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada.

He is a member of the two Hall of Fames, the Parkland College Hall of Fame and the Rantoul (Ill.) High School Hall of Fame.