Chris Beene is beginning his 12th season as the head coach of the track and field program at South Plainas College. He has led the Texans and Lady Texans to a combined 30 NJCAA Championships in men’s and women’s cross country, half marathon, and indoor and outdoor track.
During 2014-2015 season, Beene led the Texans and Lady Texans to five NJCAA championships. Those include the 2014 Men’s Half Marathon Champions, 2015 Men’s and Women’s Indoor National Championship and Men’s and Women’s Outdoor National Championship. He has coached student-athletes who currently hold nine NJCAA meet or national records, who have won more than 140 individual and relay national championships, and who have achieved hundreds of All-American performances.
At the 2015 NJCAA Outdoor National Championship in Hutchinson, Kan., the Texans earned their ninth consecutive national championship, while the Lady Texans added their sixth crown. The Texans also earned seven NJCAA individual or relay championships, along with 24 All-American performances. The Lady Texans achieved two individual or relay championships and 17 All-American performances. Being a former All-American decathlete, Beene guided Michael Samuels, a decathlete for South Plains College, to a National Championship finish. With his performance there, Samuels was named the 2015 National Men’s Field Athlete of the Year, while Beene was named the Men’s and Women’s National Coach of the Year.
Beene was awarded Men’s and Women’s National Coach of the Year for the 2015 indoor season as well, after both SPC teams won the championship in Albuquerque, N.M. The Texans won their fifth indoor championship, with five individual national champions and 11 All-American performances. Along with claiming their fourth title, the Lady Texans added eight individual or relay champions and 10 All-American performances.
In addition to track and field, Beene has national championships in cross-country and half marathon. During the fall of 2014, the Texan Half Marathon team earned their fourth national championship, with Antibahs Kibiwott-Kosgey at the front earning a championship title and All-American standing. The Lady Texan team had a second-place finish at the NJCAA Half Marathon Championship. The Texan and Lady Texan Cross-Country teams had All-American performances from four runners, while the Texans garnered a third-place finish.
Prior to arriving at SPC, Beene coached at Wayland Baptist University, where he was named the 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. He 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, coaching multi-events, pole vault, and javelin. Beene has also had coaching stints at Abilene Christian University and Texas A&M-Kingsville. Beene received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology from Angelo State University. He and his wife, Corye, have a daughter, Faith, and a son, Sage.
Beginning his sixth season with the Texan and Lady Texan cross country and track and field teams is Frank Barker, who primarily works with the distance runners.
During the 2014-2015 season, Barker oversaw a third-place finish by the men at the 2014 NJCAA Cross Country Championships and a National Championship in the Half Marathon. Antibahs Kibiwott Kosgey earned All-American honors with his performance of a national runner-up finish at the cross-country meet held at Shadow Hills Golf Course in Lubbock, Texas. Kosgey also was the national champion for the NJCAA Half Marathon in Topeka, Kan. He also helped clinch the ninth consecutive outdoor crown for the Texans when he finished first in the 3000-meter steeplechase and placed second in the 1500 and 5000-meter runs.
In addition, Barker helped guide three athletes to a runner-up finish at the outdoor national championship. These include newcomers Lyndi Hanson in the 10,000, Hassan Abdi in the 10,000, and Victoria Salvadores in the 3000-meter steeple chase. Salvadores also placed third in the 5000, as well as third in the mile and 3000 during the indoor championship meet.
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 held in Levelland.
The 2011 cross country season saw Barker help guide the SPC women to yet another share of the NJCAA Half-Marathon crown, thanks to a 1-2 finishing punch 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 were 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 at the NJCAA Outdoor Championships hosted by South Plains College, while 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 of 2010. A week earlier at the NJCAA cross-country championships, the Lady Texans came up just short of the title with a runner-up finish and the Texans placed third. Seven athletes earned All-American honors.
Coach Barker spent 39 years as a coach and teacher for the 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, helping teams qualify for 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, with one earning All-American honors.
Will Kelly begin his second season as the head athletic trainer for the South Plains College Texans and Lady Texans.
A native of Allen, Texas, Kelly’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, Kelly 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.
He is a 2014 graduate of the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and is an active member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association.
Suzy Ghattas joins South Plains College as the new Assistant Athletic Trainer where she will assist Will Kelly in the Athletic Training program.
Ghattas received her Master’s degree in Athletic Training in May 2015 from Texas Tech University’s Health Sciences Center and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California at Los Angeles in 2008. Before she moved to Texas, Ghattas worked with athletes at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, Cailf. During those two years she obtained certificates in the Fitness Specialist and Athletic Trainer Aide programs.
While working towards her degree in athletic training, Ghattas supplied athletic training services to a diverse population of athletes involved in contact and non-contact sports. She worked with high schools in the Lubbock area and as well as with middle school athletes at Lubbock Sports Treatment Center. She also provided athletic training services and experience to Wayland Baptist University and the Texas Tech University Women’s Volleyball Team.
Ghattas is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and has a strong background in Strength and Conditioning. She is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Southwest Athletic Trainer Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and is M1 Certified in Graston Technique.
Joe Tubb enters his 33rd year as the Director of Athletics at South Plains College where he has overseen 40 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 nations second largest intercollegiate athletic association.
Tubb has served in multiple capacities over the years and has been instrumental in the growth of two-year collegiate athletics. He was the recipient of the highest honor bestowed 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. Those include 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 40 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. South Plains’ athletes brought home national titles in the women’s half-marathon, men’s basketball, and men 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. They also won the basketball championship 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 12 NJCAA Championship events, most recently the 2014 Cross Country and the 2013 Men’s Golf. South Plains College is scheduled to host the 2015 Half Marathon and the 2016 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, last held in 2012 where South Plains swept the team titles.
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. Also 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. There 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 48 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.
Men's Half Marathon NJCAA Champs 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014
Men's Marathon NJCAA Champs 1993, 1994, 1995
Men's Cross Country NJCAA Champs 1991, 1996, 1997
Women's Marathon NJCAA Champs 1996, 2002
Women's Half-Marathon NJCAA Champs 2010
Women's Cross Country NJCAA Champs 2006