A source familiar with the situation has informed The Stride Report that Virginia Tech's Ben Thomas will become the next distance coach for the Oregon Ducks.
The Stride Report has also confirmed through a second source that assistant coach Eric Johannigmeier will "definitely" be Virginia Tech's next head distance coach. The Hokies are now looking to fill the assistant coaching role.
We will update this article as the story unfolds.
Confirmation of this move comes moments after Virginia's Pete Watson was declared the men's distance coach for the University of Texas. Within literal moments of each other, two ACC powers have opened up coaching positions in the distance events.
Coach Thomas' tenure with the Hokies, has led to grand success. In 2017 alone, Virginia Tech distance runners earned 14 All-American honors between indoor and outdoor track. The men's DMR won the national title while also earning three All-Americans in the mile. Hannah Green went from being an "unheralded recruit" to becoming one of the best half-milers in the country.
Thomas was also responsible for recruiting mid-distance stars such as Drew Piazza and Matthew Harding to Virginia Tech. Many would agree that Thomas has turned Virginia Tech into an NCAA mid-distance powerhouse.
Since officially entering the program in 2001, his resume reads...
- 29 NCAA All-Americans
- 59 NCAA All-America honors
- Two NCAA Cross Country Championship qualifiers for the men (2012 + 2016)
- Two NCAA Cross Country Championship qualifiers for the women (2006 + 2014)
- 27 NCAA Cross Country Championship participants
- 29 NCAA All-Region cross country runner
- 2 NCAA Southeast Region cross country champions
- 19 All-ACC cross country runners
- 45 conference championships
- 25 conference champions
- 2 ACC cross country champions
- USTFCCCA National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year (2017)
- 2012 ACC Cross Country Coach of the Year
- USTFCCCA Southeast Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year (2013, 2015)
- One BIG EAST Champion (track)
- One All-BIG EAST cross country runner