In his first year, Kyle Chandler has overseen two highly successful XC and Track & Field campaigns at Southern Virginia University as Director of Cross Country and Track & Field.
In the fall XC season on the men’s side Chandler coached Mike Myers (Medford, OR) to programs firsts - helping Myers earn the individual conference championship in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), CAC Men’s Runner of the Year, CAC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and National Championship Qualifier.
Joining Myers on the 1st team All-Conference squad was freshman teammate, Murray Bingham (Sequim, WA). Both Myers and Bingham also earned United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honors by virtue of their top finishes at the Regional Championship and having a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale.
Myers commented on his conference individual title: “Finishing was surreal because of all of the hard work over the past four seasons. I am excited to be part of the program's history, and it would not be possible without my teammates and coaches who have been with me on my journey."
On the women’s side of XC, Chandler started off his tenure by helping Sophia Dryden (Buena Vista, VA) and Morgan Bingham (Sequim, WA) go 1-2 in leading the team to a 1st place finish at the Univ. of Mary Washington Opener. Dryden’s victory was key in helping the team win their first XC meet title in program history since joining Division III, and for her efforts Dryden was named the CAC XC Women’s Athlete of the Week!
Near the end of the fall XC season Chandler coached Jill Westman (Cherry Hill, NJ) to the individual conference championship title as well as the CAC Women’s Runner of the Year. Joining Westman on the CAC All-Conference teams were Morgan Bingham (Sequim, WA) and Jessica Simpson (Boise, ID). The trio would go on to earn USTFCCCA All-Academic honors by placing high at the Regional Championship and having at least 3.30 cumulative GPAs. The team finish at the Conference and Regional Championships were the highest ever in program history.
After the individual conference title Westman reflected: "This was one of the toughest courses we did this season, but I think Coach Chandler prepared us to succeed. I felt strong at the mile two mark and broke away - at that point I knew I was in contention to win the race. Crossing the line didn't seem real, and I was pleased to see my work pay off. I am grateful for the team, Coach Chandler, and Southern Virginia, for the opportunities and experiences to develop my talents."
In the classroom both the men’s and women’s XC teams earned NCAA Division III All-Academic Team honors for 2019.
Chandler also helped several student-athletes re-write school records and top 10 lists during the Indoor Track & Field season for both the women’s and men’s programs. Most notably Chandler coached freshman Murray Bingham (Sequim, WA) to a conference championship in the 800 meters in conference meet record time as well as the men’s Distance Medley Relay that included Bingham, Daniel de la Cruz (Murray, UT), Joseph Morphonios (Kernersville, NC) and Caden Eskelsen (Lisbon, IA).
These performances were also among the very top in the South/Southeast region with the quartet earning All-Region Honors with a top 3 place in the DMR and Bingham earning a top 5 place in the mile and number one in the 800! Furthermore, Murray Bingham became the first Knight in program history to qualify for the Indoor National Championships in addition to being CAC Track athlete to be named Runner of the Week multiple times during the season.
Head Track & Field Coach Wyatt Warnick commented after day 1 at the conference meet: “Our distance medley ran an incredible race to give us our [program] first conference victory on the track. It inspired our whole team, and I'm excited to come out tomorrow and see what performances we can put up. It has already been a lot of firsts for our programs."
Chandler joined Southern Virginia after a decade coaching at the NCAA Division I level as the head XC/Assistant Track & Field coach at Arkansas State University (Sun Belt Conference) and Assistant XC/Track & Field coach at Washington State University (Pac-12 Conference).
Chandler earned XC Coach of the Year honors during his tenure at Arkansas State and helped guide the program’s first ever women’s XC SBC Championship with nine consecutive top-15 rankings in the NCAA Division I South Central Region.
On the track the athletes he coached earned 188 Conference Championships, All-Conference Honors, and National Championship Qualifiers, including a SBC record champion. He has consulted/coached two post-collegiate runners to two U.S. Olympic Trials and one Canadian National Championship.
Prior to coaching collegiately, Chandler headed the XC and Track & Field programs at Mountain View HS in Loveland, CO. With Mountain View his teams tallied four team state XC and Track & Field championships - including two nationally ranked teams - and was named All-Classification Coach of the Year by the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and the Colorado High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) on five occasions, in addition to ten conference and Sason Sharify Young Coach of the Year Awards.
Chandler is a USATF Level 2 Endurance and Level 2 Sprints/Hurdles/Relays registered coach, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado–Boulder, and was a NAIA Scholar Athlete All-American at Midland University. He served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. Louis, Missouri. He and his wife, Jamie, have eight children.