Chris Beene enters his tenth season at the helm of the cross country and track and field programs at South Plains College. Since his arrival, Beene has led the Texans and Lady Texans to a combined 23 NJCAA championships in men’s and women’s cross country, half marathon, indoor track and outdoor track, all of which have flooded in since 2006.
Under Beene’s guidance, the Texans and Lady Texans earned three NJCAA Championships during the 2013 spring season, sweeping the men’s and women’s indoor championships and then the Texans earned their seventh straight outdoor championship in May to come within two of the all-time record of nine straight championships.
The Lady Texans came just short of their fifth consecutive outdoor title when they finished second at the 2013 NJCAA Outdoor Championships.
Along with the indoor and outdoor track titles, the Lady Texans added a runner-up finish at the 2012 NJCAA Half-Marathon Championships that were hosted by South Plains College, as well as a third place finish at the NJCAA Cross Country Championships.
Lady Texan distance standout Darroneshia Lott took top honors at both fall championship events.
All total, Texan and Lady Texan athletes won 21 individual championships and seven relays for the 2012-13 academic year, and also collected 75 All-American awards.
Beene was named men’s and women’s Coach of the Meet at the Indoor Championships, and Men’s Coach of the Meet at the Outdoor Championships. Darroneshia Lott was named Indoor Track Athlete of the Meet after winning three individual events and anchoring the women’s distance medley relay team, and Ashley Johnson was honored as the top Field Event athlete at the Outdoor Championships. Johnson won the heptathlon and finished second in the high jump.
In 2012, the Texans and Lady Texans swept the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the fourth consecutive year. What made the sweep even sweeter was the fact that Beene’s squad accomplished the feat inside the friendly confines of the Texan Track and Field Complex.
Beene has coached athletes that currently hold nine NJCAA meet or national records. His athletes have won over 100 individual and relay national championships and countless All-American awards.
Beene came to South Plains College from Wayland Baptist University, where he was named Women’s NAIA Region 5 and 6 Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2004. He also earned Men’s Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2003 and 2004 and led his men’s team to a Sooner Athletic Conference championship in 2003.
Before taking over at Wayland, Beene served four seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Tech University where he was in charge of coaching multi-events, pole vault, and javelin. Beene has also had coaching stints at Abilene Christian University, and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
A former All-American decathlete, Beene received both his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in kinesiology from Angelo State University. He and his wife, Corye, have a daughter, Faith, and a son, Sage.
Frank Barker begins his fourth season assisting the Texan and Lady Texan cross country and track and field teams, working primarily with the distance runners.
In 2012, Barker helped guide Darroneshia Lott to individual championships at the cross country and half-marathon championships. Lott led the Lady Texans to a third place finish in the team standings at the cross country championships and a runner-up finish at the half-marathon that was run in Levelland.
The 2011 cross country season saw Barker help lead the SPC women to yet another share of the NJCAA Half-Marathon crown, thanks to a 1-2 finishing punch from freshman Darroneshia Lott and sophomore Kirsten Taylor. The women's cross country team also spent time with a No. 1 ranking before finishing fourth at the NJCAA Cross Country Championships in Hobbs, N.M. a week prior to winning the half-marathon. The cross country championships was highlighted by a sweep of the men's and women's individual titles by Kemoy Campbell and Natoya Goule, who would also go on to win multiple championships each at the NJCAA Outdoor Championships hosted by South Plains College, leading their teams to a fourth consecutive sweep of the outdoor team titles.
His first season with South Plains College proved to be successful as he helped the Lady Texans to a share of the NJCAA Half-Marathon championship in November, 2010. A week earlier at the NJCAA cross country championships, both squads ran well with the Lady Texans coming up just short of the title with a runner-up finish and the Texans finishing third. Seven athletes earned All-American honors.
Coach Barker spent 39 years as a coach and teacher at Levelland Independent School District. His career in Levelland began in 1969 as an assistant football coach. He began coaching the cross country team in 1976 where he helped his teams qualify to every regional meet, except 1983, until his retirement.
In 1982 Barker took over as the head track coach for varsity girls.
After his retirement from Levelland after the 2008 school year, Coach Barker signed on to assist the cross country and track teams at Lubbock Christian University. In his two year stint at LCU Barker helped coach five athletes to the NAIA national meet and one became an all-American.