Banner Elk, N.C.--Lees-McRae College's Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Craig McPhail is pleased to announce the hiring of Coker College's Ley Fletcher as the Head Track and Field coach for the Bobcats in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
"We are excited about having someone with Ley's passion and knowledge for track and field, as well as his desire to be a part of our athletic department here at Lees-McRae," McPhail said. "With our location, resources, and track and field complex we think our program should be among the best and with him here, I think we are on our way."
Fletcher leaves Coker College after seven years at the helm of the cross country programs. "It was a very difficult decision whether or not to leave Coker," said Fletcher. "Coker has been a great place to coach, and I feel much more prepared to recruit and coach student-athletes from across the country thanks to Coker."
During his time at Coker, Fletcher led the Cobra men and women to the top in both Conference Carolinas and in the Southeast Region. As recently as 2006 the men finished third in the conference and fifth in the region, while the women finished as high as fourth in the conference and sixth in the region.
Fletcher's commitment to academics is impressive as well with eight Academic All-Americans during his time at Coker, two All-Region selections and numerous All-Conference members.
"Ley is committed, and understands the DII philosophy of the balance between academics and athletics," McPhail said. "His experience at a small private college will help us in recruiting and developing those who are the right fit for Lees-McRae's campus, community and track and field program; we look forward to this new chapter in the program."
Before arriving to Coker College, Fletcher spent three years at Meridian Community College as the Head Track and Field Coach. In the spring of 2001 his men's track team finished 21st in the country, with four NJCAA All-Americans. While in 2000 the women's track team placed 16th in the outdoor championships.
In 1999 at Meridian the men's track team finished 4th in the country in the indoor championships and 9th at outdoor championships. Led by long jumper Miguel Pate who was ranked nationally as well as in the world and is currently representing the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Fletcher attended the University of Mississippi before graduating from Athens State College with a degree in Physical Education. He is a USA Track and Field Level I and II Track and Field Certified Coach.
Lees-McRae College reinstated their track and field program in 2001 and has had success with their athletes qualifying for the national championships. They have had one All-American plus ten athletes qualify for either the indoor or outdoor DII track and field championships.
McPhail will be the Director of the Cross Country/Track and Field programs, coaching the cross country teams and distance runners on the track and field teams, while overseeing the day to day operations of it. Fletcher will recruit, train and develop the student-athletes as well as manage the day-to-day duties of being the Head Track and Field Coach. Coach Jason Davis will remain the jumps coach working with both the vertical and horizontal jumps student-athletes.