Old vs. New: Track and Field Edition

By Kelsey Scott

Entering into this Fall 2021 semester, Texas State track and field athletes find themselves approaching a new season with new leadership. New athletic director Don Coryell decided over the summer to not renew the contract of Track and Field Director Jody Stewart, who had coached at Texas State for five years. The new director is John Frazier, who was an assistant coach at UCLA.

Jody Stewart led the Bobcats to five winning seasons and eight Sun Belt Conference championships, including Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year during each of the championship seasons. Stewart led the women’s program to its highest point total as a team during the 2018 Sun Belt Indoor Championship. The eight conference championships are tied for the most league titles under one head coach in program history. Stewart has coached 15 All-Americans, 65 Sun Belt Conference champions, 70 NCAA First Round qualifiers, 184 all-conference honorees and 26 school record holders. The Bobcats Cross Country and Track and Field program has also excelled academically under Stewart, collecting 17 USTFCCCA All-Academic individual honors, according to TexasStateBobcats.com. Stewart clearly had an impact on many student athletes during his time at Texas State, as did his assistant coaches. 

Ray Williams, assistant coach-sprints/hurdles/recruiting coordinator, coached “one of Texas State’s strongest events when all six hurdlers posted career-best times and advanced to the finals of the  60-meter hurdles at the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships,” stated Texas State Track and Field Directory. Coach Ray also heavily assisted building Track and Field into the success program it has become. 

Under the newest administration of Don Coryell (Athletic Director), the decision for hiring former UCLA assistant coach John Frazier was put into fruition. “He had all the characteristics we were searching for in the new leader of the track and field/cross country program,” Coryell said in a press release, according to an article in the Austin American-Statesman. 

Having been with UCLA for eight years, Coach John Frazier served as the head coach for four years, has had coaching spots at Tennessee and Florida, and 30 years of coaching experience overall. 

Some of Fraziers biggest accomplishments come from his success at the NCAA Indoor National Championship: 21 conference titles; and he has helped develop 57 All-Americans, five NCAA champions, four Olympians, and was named the 2016 USTFCCCA West Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year, according to Texas State track and Field Directory.

“I am extremely excited and elated as this is a great opportunity for me and my family to become Bobcats at Texas State University, “said Coach Frazier. “Being passionate about track and field, this solidifies the next step in my career as Director of Track and Field. The possibilities are absolutely endless, and I am thankful to be working with a team that embodies commitment and dedication to the student-athletes. I can feel the passion, and I am ready to get started.  My goal is to build on the existing dynamic base that’s in place and to develop a strong competitive track and field program.  With pleasure and honor, I thank the people that have and still are supporting me on my journey. Let’s go, Bobcats,” Frazier said, on txstatebobcats.com.

Treyvon Mays is a current junior here at Texas State who has been running hurdles for Track and Field since his freshman year. Mays has spent time around both coaches, Stewart and Frazier. He has been able to witness their different approaches to training, weight lifting, and getting the team prepared for the upcoming indoor/outdoor season. When asked what differences there are between the two sets of coaching staffs, Mays said “The newest set of coaches are younger, so they have a better understanding of us as athletes and students. They are more aware of the struggles that come along with that, because they were all collegiate athletes themselves.” 

Mays also explained what he was looking forward to the most from out of the new coaching staff.

“I wish to have more local meets, we tend to travel very far for meets and I would be interested in competing in local meets.” Trey is excited about the upcoming season and is looking forward to seeing himself and his teammates reach their goals and accomplishment this season as well as embracing the newest change in directory. 

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