The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) announced its Regional Awards for Division I Outdoor Track and Field on Monday. Illinois men’s track and field coach Mike Turk was honored by being named Men’s Coach of the Year for the Midwest region.
Turk is in his third season as head coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini men’s track and field team. This year, the Fighting Illini finished in second-place at the Big Ten Outdoor Championship (highest finish since 1994).
They also won a share of the HyVee Cup at the prestigious Drake Relays for the second straight year (tied with #4 Arkansas).
The program also earned its highest mid-season ranking in program history in 2014. The Illini earned the #14 spot in the USTFCCCA week four national poll.
The previous highest mark by the Illini was in 2013 when they earned the #22 spot.
This honor marks the first Coach of the Year award for Mike Turk. Per fightingillini.com, the Illini coach had nothing but thanks for his Illini athletes and fellow staff.
“It is an honor to be recognized by my peers. This is a tribute to the collective efforts of our staff and, especially, the athletes who have worked so hard this year.”
The Fighting Illini had thirteen athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships this upcoming week.