JBU Track & Field Returns

New Athletic Program Partners with Siloam Springs School District

By Tarah Thomas '16
12/22/2018 6:00:00 AM

Article Photo

For the 2019-2020 athletic season, JBU will welcome back men’s and women’s track and field as an NAIA intercollegiate sport, increasing the number of JBU athletic programs to 11.

Under the direction of current men’s and women’s cross-country head coach Scott Schochler, JBU will start recruiting this year and hopes to recruit 15 new student-athletes for the 2019 season.

Schochler has led JBU’s cross-country team since 2013. He coached Annie Brown ’17 to a spot in the 2015 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships marathon and helped senior Josh Uzelac make appearances in three consecutive NAIA National Championships.

“I am extremely excited and grateful to have the opportunity to bring track and field back to JBU and contribute to its legacy,” Schochler said. “This is an opportunity I have been hoping for since I came to JBU. I hope to continue the process of building this program, along with cross-country, into very competitive teams that represent the university and the Golden Eagles well. It is a great time to be a JBU Golden Eagle.”

“We believe track and field is an excellent addition to our current athletic offerings,” Robyn Daugherty, JBU director of athletics,  said. “Track and field brings a program for both men and women with healthy roster sizes, and one that complements our existing cross
country programs.”

During its nearly 100-year history, JBU offered men’s track and field over a period of three decades, from the 1960s through the 1980s, and the women’s track and field program was active from the mid 1970s through the early 1980s.

Jim Pearson, Cliff Crowder, Leo Setian, Don Cleek, Ed Renfrow and Roger Vann, who won back-to-back NAIA All-American honors in the marathon in 1975 and 1976, the latter of which earned the national title, not only supported the program but also have trained many athletes to win titles in prior decades.

The grass track around Alumni Field was at one time the home of JBU track and field, but now JBU will partner with the Siloam Springs School District to renovate and provide shared use of Glenn W. Black Stadium, the track and field facility located a half mile from campus at Siloam Springs Middle School.

Under the partnership, JBU will cover 50 percent of the cost of the track renovation, up to $400,000. The first priority will be to rebuild the track subsurface and install a higher-quality running surface. The interior ends of the track will be made more functional for field events and a steeple chase pit area will be installed on the south end of the track.

The school district will complete additional work to upgrade the facilities including removing the west stands and renovating the public restrooms in the east stands. The memorandum enables JBU to use the track for 12 years or until the track needs resurfacing, whichever is longer. At that time the partnership can be renewed for an additional 12 years with each school covering half the cost of the next track resurfacing.

“We are deeply grateful to the Siloam Springs School District for allowing us to enter into this partnership with them,” JBU President Chip Pollard said. “This new track will be a great asset to SSSD, JBU and the community of Siloam Springs, and it is another example of how public and private institutions can work together for the common good.”

The 28 members of the men’s and women’s cross-country teams will be immediately eligible to compete in both sports. Schochler hopes to have 60 student-athletes total in the cross country and track and field programs by fall 2021.

Share via

Share Icon:Share on FacebookShare Icon:Email this PageShare Icon:Share on Twitter