BUENA VISTA, Va. — Southern Virginia University Director of Athletics Deidra Dryden today announced the hire of Kyle Chandler as the director of cross country and track and field where he will become the Knights' head men's and women's cross country coach while also fulfilling an administrative role with the track and field programs.
"I'm excited to have Kyle join Southern Virginia University," said Dryden. "In the first few minutes of talking with him, I knew he aligns with the mission of the University to gather, lift, and launch our student-athletes. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our programs."
Chandler joins Southern Virginia after ten seasons as the head cross country coach and nine as a track & field assistant coach at Division I Arkansas State University (ASU), members of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC). Chandler replaces Clint May, who recently accepted the head coaching position at the University of Montana after three years leading the Knights cross country teams.
While coaching at ASU, Chandler earned honors as the 2013 SBC XC Coach of the Year following a program's first ever women's cross country SBC Championship and the 2012-13 Arkansas State Athletics Coach of the Year. Additionally, he was part of six Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field SBC team titles and guided ASU cross country to more than ten top-15 rankings in the NCAA South Central Regional, including nine consecutive years for the women's team.
A USATF Level 2 Endurance and Level 2 Sprints/Hurdles/Relays registered coach, Chandler has coached 188 All-Conference performers including a SBC record champion, six national championship qualifying marks, and consulted on two post-collegiate Olympic Trials qualifier performances.
In addition to success on the course, Chandler is committed to helping his student-athletes succeed and excel in the classroom. In 2010, ASU cross country earned USTCCCA Division I All-Academic status ranking No. 2 nationally. Two years later, the Red Wolves program led the SBC with the highest team GPA
Before ASU, Chandler spent time at Washington State University as an assistant for both cross country and track and field (2008-2009). He also spent time coaching at the high school level in Colorado at Broomfield High School (2008) and Mountain View High School (2000-2007).
As head cross country and track and field coach at Mountain View, Chandler tallied a total of four team state cross country and track and 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.
During his running career at Midland University, Chandler earned NAIA Scholar Athlete All-American, All-District honors including an All-Conference individual and team championship. He then competed one year running at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) earning All-Conference honorable mention honors.
Chandler graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education with a minor in physical education followed by a master's in music education from the University of Northern Colorado. Later he earned his doctor of Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in music education in practice and research. 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.
"Southern Virginia University is a special University with a unique mission that provides a great opportunity for students to thrive and progress as they pursue their goals," said Chandler.
"I am excited to work with the student-athletes helping each individual improve and compete at their best ability," said Chandler. "We will look to continue building upon the strong foundation Coach May has established with the distance runners the past few years."