Just completing his 10th season at the helm of the Texan Lady Texan track and field program is Chris Beene. Since his arrival, Beene has led the Texans and Lady Texans to a combined 25 NJCAA Championships in men’s and women’s cross country, half marathon, indoor and outdoor track, all of which have flooded in since 2006.
Under Beene’s gudance, the Texans and Lady Texans earned their fifth sweep of the men’s and women’s team championship in six seasons when both teams came away with top honors at the NJCAA Outdoor Championships May 15-17 in Mesa, Ariz.
Texan and Lady Texan athletes earned six NJCAA individual or relay championships as well as 28 All-American awards while Beene earned Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Meet honors and his assistant, Blaine Wiley, was named Men’s Assistant Coach of the meet.
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, finishing 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.
Just completing his fourth season with the Texan and Lady Texan cross country and track and field teams is Frank Barker, who works primarily with the distance runners.
This past season, Barker oversaw a third place finish for the men at the 2013 NJCAA Cross Country championships as well as newcomer Antibahs Kibiwott who earned All-American honors at both the cross country and outdoor championships.
Kibiwott finished sixth at the NJCAA Cross Country meet held in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and then second at the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Mesa, Ariz. Kibiwott also helped clinch the Texans eighth consecutive outdoor crown when he finished fifth in the 5,000-meter run.
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.
Will Kelly begins his first season as the head athletic trainer for the South Plains College Texans and Lady Texans.
A native of Allen, Texas, Will’s primary responsibilities include direct care of Texan and Lady Texan student athletes, supervision of student athletic trainers, as well as management and administration of the athletic training room. Additionally, Kelly will teach classes in the physical education department.
Prior to being hired at South Plains College, Will was the athletic trainer for the Texas Tech Red Raider track and field team where he was responsible for the evaluation and treatment of his athletes as well as mentoring athletic training students working under his supervision.
Kelly has also recently worked at the Lubbock Sports Medicine clinic and during the summers of 2011 and 2013 served as an intern for the Baltimore Ravens.
A 2014 graduate of the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Kelly is an active member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association.
Kelli Henderson begins her first season at South Plains College where she will assist Will Kelly in the Athletic Training program.
Henderson earned a Master of Athletic Training from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in May 2014. While working toward her advanced degree she participated in more than 1,000 hours of clinical rotations that included stints at Monterey High School, Frenship High School, Zach’s Club, and the Texas Tech baseball and softball teams.
Before moving to Lubbock, Henderson was a student-athlete at the University of Northern Colorado located in Greeley, Colo. As a member of the Lady Bear softball program, Henderson was a team captain who took a leadership role in helping recruit potential student athletes when they made on-campus visits.
Joe Tubb enters his 32nd year as the Director of Athletics at South Plains College where he has overseen 35 NJCAA Championships in men’s and women’s track and field, cross country, half-marathon, and men’s basketball.
In addition to his duties leading the SPC athletic department, Tubb recently completed a three-year term serving as President of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) where he was responsible for a myriad of duties including presiding over annual, executive, and special meetings for the seconds largest intercollegiate athletic association.
Tubb - who has served in multiple capacities over the years and has been instrumental in the growth of two-year collegiate athletics - was the recipient of the highest honor bestowed upon by the National Alliance of Two-Year Collegiate Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) when he was presented the L. William Miller Award at a Dallas luncheon on June 25, 2012. In 2006 and 2010 Tubb was named Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of College Athletic Directors (NACDA).
At South Plains College, Tubb is responsible for supervising all sports programs and coordinating other activities specifically designed to promote athletics at the college. Additionally, Tubb is responsible for the Texan Dome, the intramural and recreational program, and Texas High School University Interscholastic League (UIL) events hosted by the college including the boys and girls Region I Class A basketball tournaments and the Region I Class A track and field, tennis, and golf championships.
Each of SPC’s 35 NJCAA national championships have occurred under Tubb’s watch and the 2011-12 season was one of the most successful in the history of SPC athletics as SPC athletes brought home national titles in the women’s half-marathon, men’s basketball, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. The Texan basketball team became only the sixth team in history to complete an undefeated season en-route to claiming the NJCAA national championship and also brought the basketball championship home in 2008.
Since taking over as athletic director in 1983, the Texan and Lady Texan basketball teams have claimed a combined 15 Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) championships and eight Region 5 tournament titles.
Under Tubb’s direction the college has also hosted 11 NJCAA Championship events, most recently the 2013 men’s golf, 2012 men’s and women’s half marathon, and the 2012 Outdoor Track and Field Championships where the Texans and Lady Texans swept the team titles. South Plains College is scheduled to host the 2014 cross country and 2016 outdoor track and field championships.
Tubb is most proud of the success SPC athletes have had in the classroom where a high percentage have graduated and moved on to compete and attend four-year institutions. He gives much of the credit to the high quality of coaches that South Plains College has been able to attract and to the Assistance for Student-Athlete Program (ASAP) that has been installed over the years and includes mandatory study halls, drug testing, faculty mentor programs, and special classes covering time management, drug abuse, test taking, and sex education, among others.
Tubb also oversees the operation of the Texan Club, the athletic booster club at SPC comprised of civic leaders and local businessmen and women.
Tubb knows what it means to be a student-athlete at SPC. He played on the men’s intercollegiate golf team under head coach Bill Powell as a student during the 1966-67 school year before transferring to West Texas A&M University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with a minor in physical education and graduated as a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society in 1971. In 1981, Tubb earned a Master’s degree in physical education from Sul Ross State University. The following year, 1982, Tubb was selected as an Outstanding Young Man of America.
Following a 12-year career as a high school coach and teacher, Tubb returned to his alma mater in 1983 when he accepted the role of Director of Athletics.
Active in the community, Tubb is a past president and Rotarian since 1983. He has also served in various positions including president of the Levelland Country Club, local board member of the American Cancer Society, and director of the George White District of Boy Scouts of America.
Tubb is a lifetime member of the Texas High School Coaches Association and a former member of the Basketball Advisory Committee. He served as Director of Region 5 from 1999-2009 and has been a member of NATYCAA since 1989 and has sat on the NATYCAA board since 2001. In April 2010 he was elected to serve as the NJCAA 1st Vice-President for men, a position he maintained until being elected President.
Tubb and his wife, Kathy, have been married 47 years and have a son, Chad, and a daughter, Lesli, who is a coach’s wife and teacher in Lubbock, Texas. Lesli has two children, Kayli and Kade.