Jim VanHootegem was announced as Oklahoma’s track and field and cross country coach Monday.
VanHootegem has been an assistant at Texas A&M since 2004, helping the Aggies win seven NCAA titles, 14 conference titles and producing 22 individual NCAA champions.
“Jim has worked and been mentored by some of the finest coaches in the history of intercollegiate track and field and has built his own distinguished pedigree as a coach,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement. “As we moved through the search process, it was evident that Jim’s approach has always modeled the comparable core values and team concepts that guide our athletics programs here at OU.”
VanHootegem replaces Martin Smith, who had coached the Sooners since 2005 until leaving last month to take the Iowa State job.
VanHootegem was named the 2009 Men’s National Assistant Coach of the Year by USA Track and Field and the Collegiate Cross Country Coaches Association.
“The opportunity to work for a program that shares my vision for its student-athletes and boasts and extremely passionate fan base is truly a special situation,” VanHootegem said in a release. “I am looking forward to the challenge of working in a program that possesses an extensive history of producing championship-caliber teams and student-athletes.”