Rogers State Cross Country and Track & Field Head Coach Chris McCormick has announced his retirement from collegiate coaching to pursue a career outside the coaching industry, effective December 6, 2019.
“This has been an exciting and fulfilling experience at RSU these last nine and a half years,” said McCromick. “I have been so privileged to see and experience the growth and success of the Claremore community, the RSU campus, and the Hillcat family.”
“We would like to thank Chris and his family for their dedication and support of the Hillcat Cross Country and Track & Field programs, as well as all of Hillcat Athletics, over the last decade,” said Athletic Director Chris Ratcliff. “He has led the Hillcats with honor and integrity and helped build a tremendous program during his decade here at Rogers State.”
McCormick has guided the cross country and track & field programs at Rogers State since their inception and wrapped up his 10th season at the helm of the cross country program last week. He guided the women’s track & field program for five seasons and the men’s track & field program for four seasons, starting them during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 season, respectively.
“My family is forever indebted to this place, and it very much feels like home for us,” said McCromick. “God is leading us to serve in a new way, on a new adventure with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. We take with us memories and relationships that will remain forever.”
Under the watchful eye of McCormick since April of 2010, the Hillcats have developed a strong program that has reached national recognition in recent years. McCormick guided the men’s cross country program to the 2017 Heartland Conference Championship and was subsequently named the Heartland Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year. The navy and red made their first appearance in the NCAA Division II National Championship after being ranked in the NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll most of the 2017 season.
The 2018-19 season for the Hillcats continued to reach new heights under the leadership of McCormick. Alfred Thomas would earn All-American honors in both indoor and outdoor events, including an RSU best-ever finish of second in the 200-meter Dash at the outdoor national championships.
The 2016 season saw McCormick coach the first-ever NCAA Division II All-American in RSU history as Baylor Harvey finished 19th at the NCAA National Championships. Harvey was the Heartland Conference individual champion and Runner of the Year in 2016, repeating the awards he won in 2014.
In the spring of 2017, the Hillcats earned All-American honors in three events at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. Baylor Harvey (5,000 meters), Quintin Powell (400 meters) and the 4×100 relay team of Powell, Ricky Bell, JaQuan Johnson and Djiron Lilley garnered All-American recognition for the first time in program history. On the women’s side, Audrianna Morgan, Ashli Turner, Destiny Thompkins and Vivian Walters qualified for the national championships as well in the 4×100.
Overall, McCormick has coached 12 All-Americans, four conference runners of the year, three conference freshman of the year, 147 all-conference athletes, 10 all-region track performers and 18 athletes of the week.
McCormick’s teams have also succeeded in the classroom, as Hillcats have garnered three Academic All-American honors, 14 academic all-district and scholar-athlete honors and six team academic national honors.
“We are thankful for Chris and his wife Nicole, as well as their two daughters Cleary and Alby, and we want to wish them the all of the best in their next chapter,” said Ratcliff.
A national search for the cross country and track & field head coach position is already underway.