TBirds Add Men’s Track & Field, and Cross Country to Its Athletic Program

TBirds Add Men’s Track & Field, and Cross Country to Its Athletic Program


For Immediate Release
August 29, 2018




TBirds Add Men's Track & Field, and Cross Country to Its Athletic Program




(Hobbs, NM) New Mexico Junior College announced today that it will be adding men's indoor and outdoor track and field, and men's cross country, for the 2019-2020 school year. The men's team will join the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in Division 1 competition.




Both the men's and women's teams will be led by Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach Keith Blackwill, who won National Coach of the Year for two years in a row, in 2017 and 2018, by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.  Jeff Becker, who won National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2017, will be named Associate Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach for both men and women.  Becker will also lead the men's and women's cross country team and its recruiting.  Two additional positions will be available as assistant coaches.




"We're excited to expand our track & field and cross country program by adding a men's team," said Athletic Director Deron Clark. "We have great expectations that Coaches Blackwill and Becker will build a championship team, much like they have done with the women's teams over the past several years."




The TBirds women's team won the national indoor and outdoor track & field championships in 2017 and 2018, an unprecedented achievement for NMJC. The TBirds had a men's track and field team in the 1970s and 1980's, when it won several championships, including the National Championships in 1971, 1979, and 1980.




"We have an outstanding track and field at NMJC, probably one of the best in the country," stated Clark. "Because of the investment that the college authorized a few years ago, to upgrade the track and field, it makes sense to bring back a men's team to our championship roster."




New Mexico Junior College will be hosting the National Championship Outdoor Track & Field Tournament May 16-18, 2019, with the hope that the national tournament will return every other year. "Having the national championships in Hobbs, NM, will have a huge impact on the local economy, with a couple of thousand athletes, coaches and their families spending several days in town to attend events," said Clark. "We are very proud to showcase our campus and athletics to the country and the world, by hosting this national championship."




Recruitment for the men's team will begin this fall, once an assistant coach position is hired.




For information, contact Deron Clark at 575-492-2741 or dclark@nmjc.edu.