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Jeff Stiles enters his 17th season as the head coach of the Washington University in St. Louis men's and women's cross country programs, and his ninth as the head coach of the Bears' men's and women's track & field programs in 2017-18.
In his 16 seasons at the helm of the WashU men's and women's cross country programs, Stiles' teams have combined to win 19 University Athletic Associaton (UAA) titles. The men's track & field team has won six UAA indoor titles and seven UAA outdoor championships during Stiles' tenure. In eight seasons, the women's track & field team has won four UAA indoor and four UAA outdoor championships. For his efforts, Stiles has received UAA Cross Country Coaching Staff of the Year honors 17 times, and UAA Track & Field Coaching Staff of the Year accolades for all 21 of the Bears' indoor and outdoor conference titles won in his eight years.
Stiles led the cross country and track & field teams to the most successful season in school history in 2016-17, as the Bears' women won both the first indoor and outdoor national championship in program history. The women nearly won the cross country national championship too, placing second overall, while the men earned top-20 finishes in all three: cross country (fourth), indoor (17th) and outdoor track & field (ninth). Stiles was awarded with the women's cross country Midwest Regional Coach of the Year, as well as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women's Indoor and Outdoor National Coach of the Year.
He also led the cross country and track & field teams to one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2011-12, highlighted by the women's cross country team winning its first national championship in school history. The Bears had all five of their point-scorers finish in the top-40, including four who raced to All-America honors. After leading his team to the title, Stiles was selected as the NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). WashU was also recognized as the USTFCCCA Women's Division III Cross Country Scholar Team of the Year.
The WashU men's cross country team also earned a spot on the awards podium at the 2011 NCAA Championships, finishing in third place, which was the program's highest finish in school history. Two individuals earned All-America honors for WashU at the meet. It marked the third year in a row the Bears placed both teams in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships.
The success continued into the track & field seasons, where the WashU women recorded a third-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, equaling the highest finish in school history. In addition, Tyler Jackson became the first men's track & field athlete in school history to win an indoor national championship as he raced to victory in the 60-meter hurdles. Overall, the Bears finished with five individual All-Americans and a national runner-up finish in the women's distance medley relay at the Indoor Championships. At the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, WashU had five student-athletes earn seven All-America honors. The women's team posted its second-highest finish in school history, tying for sixth place.
In 2015-16 the WashU women's cross country and track & field program was named the Deb Vercauteren NCAA Division III Women's Program of the Year by the USTFCCCA. The Bears finished with 11 points after a fifth-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships and third-place finishes at the 2016 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Stiles led WashU to another successful year in 2014-15. The men's and women's cross country teams swept the UAA titles for the fourth time in school history. Both teams went on to finish fourth at the NCAA Championships, making the Bears the only Division III program to have both its men's and women's teams make the podium that year. Lucy Cheadle finished as the women's national runner-up, becoming just the 13th runner in Division III women's cross country history to race to All-America honors all four years. Drew Padgett finished sixth overall to become the third individual in men's cross country history to finish in the top-10, while Josh Clark also earned All-America honors by finishing 21st.
The WashU men won the 2015 UAA indoor track & field title for the fifth time in six years. The Bears had both the men's and women's distance medley relays earn All-America honors at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships, and Lucy Cheadle won the second national title of her career by finishing first in the 5,000. The outdoor season brought even more success, culminating in a third-place team finish for the WashU women at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Bears had six All-America finishes, including Cheadle repeating as the national champion in the 3,000 steeplechase, en route to the highest team finish in school history. The WashU men also had two All-Americans - Josh Clark (1,500) and Drew Padgett (5,000). Clark joined Padgett as two of just four men's individuals in school history to earn All-America honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field in the same season.
In 2013-14, the Bears had another outstanding season across the board. The men's cross country team won the UAA title for the fourth year in a row, and the Bears had the top runners in both the men's and women's races for the second straight year. The men's cross country team went on to finish fourth at the NCAA Championships, including All-America finishes for Kevin Sparks and Drew Padgett, the program's second-highest finish in school history. The women's cross country team also qualified for the NCAA Championships, and Lucy Cheadle raced to her third straight All-America finish by placing fifth overall.
The 2013-14 indoor track & field season saw the men's program win the UAA Championship for the fourth time in Stiles' six years. The Bears posted four All-America finishes at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, with the women finishing 20th and the men tying for 58th. The outdoor track & field season proved to be one of the most successful in school history. After both teams swept the UAA titles, the Bears sent 14 student-athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Anna Etherington (pole vault) and Lucy Cheadle (3,000 steeplechase) became the third and fourth, respectively, national champions in Stiles' six years as head coach. In addition, Drew Padgett raced to All-America honors in both the 5,000 and 10,000, becoming just the second men's athlete in school history to earn All-America honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field in the same year. Deko Ricketts and Emily Warner added All-America honors in the men's and women's 800, respectively. The WashU women tied for sixth in the team standings, equaling the second-highest finish in school history, while the men finished tied for 18th.
In 2012-13, the WashU men's cross country team posted its third-highest finish in school history - fifth place - at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, led by Kevin Sparks' fourth-place finish. Sparks' fourth-place showing marked the highest individual finish in WashU men's cross country history, and made him just the third runner in school history to finish in the top-10. The WashU women posted a sixth-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, after the four qualifiers earned All-America honors in all five events in which they competed. During the outdoor track & field season, Stiles and his assistant coaches were named the UAA Men's Outdoor Track & Field Coaching Staff of the Year for the fourth year in a row after leading the Bears to their fifth straight team title.
In 16 seasons, Stiles has coached 34 student-athletes to cross country All-America honors. In just eight seasons at the helm of the men's and women's track & field programs, Stiles has coached 84 individuals and 10 relay teams to All-America finishes, including nine individual national champions. Stiles' teams have also excelled in the classroom, producing 22 Academic All-Americans. Elizabeth Phillips, the first three-time NCAA Elite 89 Award winner in the history of the award, was also named the 2012 Division III Women's Cross Country/Track& Field Academic All-America of the Year, as well as the 2012-13 NCAA Woman of the Year. Lucy Cheadle was selected as the 2015 Division III Women's Cross Country/Track & Field Academic All-America of the Year, while also earning an NCAA Today's Top 10 Award and being a Top-30 Finalist for the 2014-15 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The Bears also excelled in the UAA in 2011-12, winning team titles in men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track & field, and men's outdoor track & field. Stiles and his assistant coaches earned UAA Coaching Staff of the Year honors for each of those titles. In 2010-11, WashU swept the UAA men's and women's cross country titles, while the women's team went on to finish as the national runner-up at the NCAA Division III Championships with the men finishing ninth.
The men's track & field team swept the UAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships and finished a program-best eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2011. As a result, WashU finished second in the USTFCCCA Al Carius NCAA Division III Program of the Year standings. Stiles garnered UAA men's and women's cross country and men's indoor and outdoor track & field Coach of the Year honors.
The 2008-09 academic year marked Stiles' first as the head cross country and track & field coach. The WashU women's track & field team won the UAA Indoor Championship, and the men's and women's squads each captured the team title at the conference's outdoor meet. The WashU women went on to place fifth at the 2009 NCAA Division III Championships, marking the highest finish at the NCAA Outdoor meet in school history.
Both the WashU men's and women's cross country squads placed in the top-10 at the 2009 NCAA Division III Championships, marking the first time in school history both teams accomplished the feat. The WashU men placed seventh and the women's team came in 10th, also winning the UAA title, the 10th in school history.
The women's team captured the UAA title, won the first Midwest Regional Championship in school history and finished a then program-best fourth place at the NCAA Championships in 2002. In 2001, the men's squad captured its third consecutive UAA Championship while the women placed third. In 2003, Stiles led the Bears men's and women's cross country squads to the UAA Championship, marking the first time in school history that both teams won the conference title the same year.
Stiles mentored the WashU women to third place in the NCAA in 2004. Besides their NCAA success, the women also won the UAA title for the third straight year, while Maggie Grabow notched her second straight individual 6K title. On the men's side, WashU finished second at the conference meet, and Greg Reindl individually qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 2005 season brought another third-place NCAA finish for the women's cross country team and the Bears' fourth straight UAA championship.
In 2006, the women, who won their second straight Midwest Region title, placed fourth at nationals for their fourth top-four finish in five seasons. Meanwhile, the men continued their ascent in Division III, qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1997 and fourth time overall. For the team's efforts, Stiles was named the Midwest Region Men's Coach of the Year.
In 2007, the women's cross country team finished third in the NCAA Championship meet for the third time in school history, and won its ninth UAA title. Although the third-place finish at the national championship meet tied an all-time best, WashU had three runners earn All-America honors - Tricia Frisella, Tyler Mulkin and Kate Pentak - setting a program record at the time for most All-Americans at one national championship.
Stiles, a 1999 graduate of North Central College in Naperville, Ill., came to WashU from Southwest Missouri State University where he served as the assistant cross country and track & field coach for two years. During his two seasons, the women's track & field squad captured a third consecutive indoor conference championship and its first outdoor conference title.
Prior to his work at Southwest Missouri State, Stiles put together a remarkable career during his four years at North Central. A member of both the cross country and track & field teams, he qualified for eight NCAA Championship meets and earned All-America honors six times. Stiles also captained the 1997 cross country squad and the 1998 outdoor track & field team to national championships. He excelled in the classroom as well, earning Academic All-America honors three times, while being named to the Dean's List on five occasions.
Stiles graduated from North Central in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and earned his master's degree in secondary education from Southwest Missouri State in August 2001. He and his wife, Heather, have three children: Anya, Kiera and Micah.