Illini track & field now operating as one coaching staff

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) -- Up until Saturday, the Illinois men's and women's track and field teams each had separate coaching staffs. From Saturday on, that's no longer the case, as both teams will now operate under one coaching staff.

"It's a trend that has been growing over about the last 25 years." head coach Mike Turk said. "We're kind of one of the last of the holdouts. There are a few more, there are three other schools in the BigTen that are separate programs by gender. We'll be kind of off to a fresh start with planning for next year, with our new ops person and that. We're pretty much in full tilt right now moving forward and ready to go. I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to benefit out athletes a lot, they're going to get a lot more specialized attention in their event groups and I think we're going to be able to grow the program quite a bit."

"I come from a single gender program, so of course I love that," former Illini and current Texas associate head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey added. "But I think it's going to be great, I mean that's the trend that's kind of going in the sport right now so I think Coach Turk is going to do a great job."


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