Ley Fletcher will begin his 10th season as the Head Track & Field Coach, and sixth as the head cross country coach at Lees-McRae.
Ley Fletcher was named the Head Track and Field coach for the Bobcats on Aug. 21, 2008.
"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.
Johnston enters his second season as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track and field coach in 2017-18. Johnston comes to Banner Elk after serving as an assistant coach for East Tennessee State (ETSU).
Johnston came to ETSU having spent the last 40 years coaching track & field internationally as well as at several NCAA institutions. He is most noted for the creation of the "Six-Stride Mark Chart", which deals with the approach run speeds in long jump and pole vault, as well as stride lengths and performance success. With extensive knowledge and experience in Approach Run velocities and accuracies, DJ is a clinician at camps and clinics worldwide. His presentations include the "Physics of Speed" and technical models in the triple jump, pole vault ("19+Plus"), hurdles, high jump ("The Natural High Jump") and 4x100m Relay ("The Timed Method of Establishing a "Go" Mark" and "Fundamentals of the 4x100 Relay Overhand Baton Pass")
Johnston has passionately dedicated over 40 years of his life to coaching. He has coached track and field at the international, Olympic, university, national and high school levels, producing champions at all levels and in numerous events. His former pupils include 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the pole vault, Mike Tully; previous world recrod holder in the javelin throw, Roald Bradstock; University of Florida Hall of Famer, winter and summer Olympian, Liston Bochette; SEC champion and All-American in the pole vault, Will Freeman; Bahamian Olympian and Florida SEC long jump and triple jump champion, Michael Sharpe; and Canadian pole vault record holder and Olympian Bruce Simpson.
In the early stages of his coaching career as an assistant at Florida, DJ worked with and was mentored by former UF Head Track Coach, 1980 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Coach, and USATFCCCA Hall of Fame Coach, Jimmy Carnes. DJ has also had the honor of coaching with Guy Kochel and Bill Webb. Kochel is a USATFCCCA Hall of Fame Coach, former USA pole vault coordinator and former ASU head coach. Webb is the former head coach at Cal State Northridge, former University of Tennessee head coach, 2003 U.S. Olympic Committee National Track and Field Coach of the Year, and a recent USATFCCCA Hall of Fame Coach inductee.
As an athlete at the University of Central Arkansas, Johnston was a three-time colligate All-American in track and field and an NAIA National Indoor Champion in the long jump. He is a member of the UCA Bears, Conway Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame for football and track. In track and field, he held eight school records, four AIC Conference records, and was High Point Performer his sophomore, junior and senior years. His record performances included conference championships in the 110m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, 4x100m relay, 4x200m relay and 4x400m relay. DJ's long jump record held for 10 years, while his triple jump record remained on the books for 38 years before finally being broken in 2007. In addition his collegiate performances for UCA, DJ held the state triple jump record. All of these accomplishments led to his induction into the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame for his performances as an athlete and as a coach of world class stature.
Johnston earned his master's degree from the University of Central Arkansas.