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Track & Field Head Coach Jeff Bovee Signs Two-Year Contract Extension

Written by on November 15, 2019

NORMAL-Illinos State Track & Field Head Coach Jeff Bovee signed a two-year contract extension through 2024.When asked about the decision making process of signing that extension, Coach Bovee explained his reasoning behind signing.

“I’ve been at Illinois State for 13 years, going on year 14 so you know I have been here a long time and really love this place, I love this community, the university, and i just see this as home and a place to continue to build from where we’re at with program. I think we’re just scratching the surface of this kind of success we can have” said Bovee. “I feel a lot of support from the administration and all the way up to the President’s office. Why wouldn’t I want to be here in Illinois State for a longer period of time?”

Over the past five years, Coach Bovee has transformed Illinois State into a powerhouse program. That was made very clear when he was named the Missouri Valley Conference’s Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year and as well when Illinois State swept the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in 2018. The program has changed in the five years that Coach Bovee has taken over the program. Coach Bovee expands on those changes.

“ We went from a program that was struggling on the track and field side, strong in the distance area and a couple of event areas on the track. Now we are a very balanced program all across the board. We have high quality student athletes in all the event areas like the jumps, the sprints, hurdles, the pole vault, the throws, the distance area, so you know I think to compete for championships in the Missouri Valley you just have to have depth in all those areas and people that can score points” said Bovee. “You gotta be able to come at the other teams in a lot of different angles. We’re at that place now that we actually have as many field event athletes as we have ring event athletes. That’s a unique thing that’s really progressed over the last 5 or 6 years.”

When asked about the changes he is hoping the program to have, Coach Bovee said he plans to keep looking forward towards the future.

“A big part of any coach’s job is to recruit and when you’re having success and when you have the academics and the academic reputation that Illinois State has, you’re looking to bring in more and more quality student athletes and so you have to start with recruiting and on top of that you need to maintain a great staff” said Bovee. “I have a great coaching staff that I work with and so my job is to make sure that when coaches get better opportunities and move on, say to a power five university, that we find the next coach that’s gonna be able to come in and take good care of our student athletes, but on top of that we really want to continue to compete for Valley championships and more than that we want to strive to be a top 20 program at the NCAA level. So those things take time and things don’t get built overnight but I feel like we got a great foundation and we’re just gonna keep building from there.”

The Illinois State cross country teams are back in action on Friday for the NCAA Midwest Regional.