|Position:||Director of Cross Country/Track & Field|
After a highly successful cross country/track and field coaching career on the Palouse, Wayne Phipps moved eight miles west July 1, 2014, to become the 15th coach to take the reins of the Washington State men’s program and the second coach for the combined men’s and women’s program at WSU.
In just his second season with the Cougar cross country program, Phipps, 46, led the men’s team to a fourth-place NCAA West Regional finish and an NCAA Cross Country Championships at-large berth in 2015. Junior John Whelan and sophomore Michael Williams had second and third-place finishes, respectively, at the West Regional meet, leading a team comprised mostly of freshmen recruited by Phipps. The Cougars went on to finish in 26th place at the national meet.
The first season of mentoring competitors in track and field was also one of success for Phipps who coached the distance corps as well as the hurdlers and multi-events competitors. CharLee Linton ran the WSU women’s record in the 10,000m (34:03.69) at Stanford Invite. At the Pac-12 Championships, Alissa Brooks-Johnson won the heptathlon title, Jesse Jorgensen won the men’s 800m title, Dino Dodig finished fifth in the decathlon, and a trio of Cougars scored 12 points in the women’s intermediate hurdles. During the 2015 indoor and outdoor seasons, 18 marks were either written into or moved up in the WSU all-time records top 10 lists.
Phipps had been the University of Idaho’s Director and Track & Field/Cross Country from 2010 through 2014, and was a coach with the Vandals program for a total of 19 years. He served as co-head coach from 2000-09, after serving as an assistant coach from 1995-99. During that time, Phipps was honored 14 times as a conference coach of the year and led the Vandals to a record 16 total conference titles.
From 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 two individual NCAA champions, nine individual NCAA runner-ups, and six individual third-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.
During Phipps’ head coaching tenure, the Vandals 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, who is a two-time Olympian, six-time World Championship participant and a two-time World Championship finalist. Whyte finished sixth at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in the 100m hurdles and sixth at the 2013 World Track and Field Championships in the 100m hurdles. He has coached two-time Olympian and World Championship finalist Tawanda Chiwira, former WSU NCAA All-American and world-ranked hurdler Arend Watkins, and Olympian Sherwin James.
Additionally, Idaho had a very strong academic reputation with yearly 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, five 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 team’s athletes have been recognized with a combined 490 WAC All-Academic honors.
Phipps began his coaching career in his hometown of Prince George, British Columbia, with the Prince George Track and Field Club. During that time, he coached several provincial and national medalists and champions. As an athlete, Phipps was a three-year letterwinner in basketball and a four-year letterwinner in track and cross country at D.P. Todd Secondary. He also competed for the Prince George Track and Field Club where he was coached by his father, Ron.
Phipps competed 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 from the University of Oregon in exercise and movement science, with a sports medicine major and minors in biomechanics and exercise physiology.
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