Ben Thomas named National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year

BLACKSBURG – Distance coach Ben Thomas of the No. 7-ranked Virginia Tech men’s track and field team has been tabbed as the National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year, announced Tuesday afternoon by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Winners were voted on by member coaches following the conclusion of the 2017 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, which were held this past weekend in College Station, Texas.

The No. 7-ranked men’s squad earned a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships thanks to a strong effort from Tech’s middle distance runners. The Hokies finished with 23.5 points throughout the two-day event, marking their highest indoor finish in program history. Thomas’ athletes tallied 21 of those points by themselves with second-place finishes in the men’s 800 and distance medley relay as well as a fourth-place finish in the mile.

At the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships a few weeks earlier, Thomas’ athletes scored 62 of the team’s 109 points as they won their fourth indoor league title. Coming into nationals, Thomas’ athletes were ranked 2nd and 4th in the 800 and 11th in the mile.

During his time at Tech, the Hokies have emerged as contenders in not only the ACC and the NCAA Southeast Region, but also the entire nation. The three-time USTFCCCA Southeast Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year has produced 31 All-Americans in men’s track since 2001.

A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, Thomas is the first coach from the ACC to win this award.

The NCAA Indoor Championships were the final event of the 2017 indoor season before transitioning to the outdoor season on March 24-25 at the Weems Baskins Invitational in Columbia, South Carolina.

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