PULLMAN, Wash. -- Wayne Phipps has been named the Director of Cross Country/Track & Field programs at Washington State University beginning July 1, 2014, Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Tuesday.
Phipps will be the 15th coach to take the reins of the Cougar men’s program and the second coach for the combined men’s and women’s program at WSU. He takes over for Rick Sloan who announced his retirement from WSU last fall and is slated to complete his coaching duties at the end of the current track season.
“I am most happy to welcome Wayne to the Cougar family,” said Moos. “I have watched his good work from afar and have been impressed with not only his success in regards to competition but also how he has managed his program. I believe he is a great fit and I am excited for the future of our Cougar Track and Field programs.”
Phipps, 45, has been the University of Idaho’s Director and Track & Field/Cross Country for the past four seasons and has been with the Vandals program for the past 19 years. He served as co-head coach from 2000-09, after serving as an assistant coach from 1995-99. In his time at Idaho, he has been honored 14 times as a conference coach of the year and has led the Vandals to a record 16 total conference titles.
“I want to thank Bill Moos and Anne McCoy for giving me this amazing opportunity,” Phipps said. “I also want to thank Mike Keller who gave me my start at Idaho as well as Rob Spear and my staffs at Idaho for all of their support. It is an absolute honor and privilege to be the next director of track and field and cross country at Washington State University. The Cougars have a legendary past in track and field; and the teams and athletes that coaches such as John Chaplin and Rick Sloan have produced will go down in track and field history. I could not be more excited about the opportunity to keep this tradition alive, to make Cougar nation proud, and to represent Washington State University at the highest level possible.”
A native of Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, Phipps was a three-year letterwinner in basketball and a four-year letterwinner in track and cross country at D.P. Todd Secondary School. He also competed for the Prince George Track and Field Club, where he was coached by his father, Ron.
Phipps went on to compete for the University of Montana and the University of British Columbia, where he graduated with a degree in exercise science in 1991. He earned his masters of science in 1994 from the University of Oregon in exercise and movement science, with a sports medicine major and in biomechanics and exercise physiology minors. He began his coaching career with the Prince George Track and Field Club where he coached several provincial and national medalists and champions from 1990-95.
After one year as an administrative assistant for men’s Head Coach Mike Keller at the University of Idaho, Phipps was promoted to head coach for men’s and women’s cross country and assistant coach for the men’s and women’s track and field programs. Keller retired in 1999 and Phipps was promoted to a co-head coach position for the men’s and women’s cross country/track and field programs. He was named the program’s director in 2010.
Beginning in 2000, Phipps guided an Idaho track and field/cross country program that was highly successful at the conference level producing seven individual cross country champions, 52 indoor track and field champions, and 117 outdoor champions. The Vandals claimed 23 conference athletes of the year awards, broke 15 conference records, qualified for the NCAA Championships 79 times, earning 45 NCAA All-American awards including 2 individual NCAA champions, 9 individual NCAA runner-ups, and 6 individual 3rd place finishes. During this time Idaho athletes set 30 indoor school records, 23 outdoor records, and at least one school record has fallen every year during Phipps’ tenure. As a team Idaho finished in the top 25 in the nation 11 times in track & field including highs of 16th for the women and 17th for the men; and once in cross country.
Phipps was also a strong academic mentor for the program with regular honorees among the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I All-Academic Teams in both men’s and women’s cross country and track and field. Since 2005, seven Idaho track and field athletes have earned the Western Athletic Conference’s prestigious Stan Bates Award as the top male or female student-athlete in the conference, and the program’s student-athletes have been recognized with a combined 442 WAC All-Academic honors.
Since 2000, the Vandals have produced five Olympians, two World Track and Field Championship finalists, and one World Cross Country Championship participant. Phipps currently coaches former Vandal All-American Angela Whyte (now a Vandal assistant coach), who is a two-time Olympian, six-time World Championship participant and a two-time World Championship finalist. Angela finished sixth at the 2004 Olympic Games in the 100m hurdles and sixth at the 2013 World Track and Field Championships in the 100m hurdles. She is currently ranked tied for number 3 in the world in the heptathlon.
Team Conference Titles
2000 Big West Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
2001 Big West Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
2001 Big West Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
2002 Big West Women’s Cross Country
2003 Big West Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
2005 WAC Women’s Cross Country
2007 WAC Women’s Cross Country
2010 WAC Women’s Cross Country
2011 WAC Women’s Cross Country
2012 WAC Men's Indoor Track & Field
2012 WAC Men's Outdoor Track & Field
2012 WAC Women’s Cross Country
2013 WAC Women’s Cross Country
2014 WAC Men’s Indoor Track & Field
2014 WAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
2014 WAC Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
Individual Coaching Honors
2000 Big West Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year
2001 Big West Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year
2002 Big West Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
2005 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
2007 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
2010 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
2011 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
2012 WAC Men's Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year
2012 WAC Men's Outdoor Track & Field co-Coach of the Year
2012 WAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year
2013 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
2014 WAC Men’s Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year
2014 WAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year
2014 WAC Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year