The South Plains College Track and Field program will begin a new era under first-year head coach Erik Vance.
Vance served as an assistant coach for South Plains during the 2015-16 season, playing a crucial role in helping the Texans capture their 10th consecutive NJCAA Outdoor title. Vance will take over for former head coach Chris Beene, who stepped away to enter private business after 12 successful seasons at the helm, where he compiled 32 NJCAA track and field, cross country and Half Marathon championships.
“It is an absolute honor to be able to head up a program with as much prestige as South Plains College,” Vance said. “The tradition here is incredible, and to be able to be the head coach and follow in the footsteps of coaches like Chris Beene, Lance Bingham, James Morris and Clint Ramsey is humbling.”
Before coming to Levelland, Vance had a successful stint at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. In five years there, Vance coached the horizontal and vertical jumpers, as well as the multi-event athletes.
His success as a coach is proven by the performances of his athletes. At ULM, he coached four Sun
Belt Conference champions, which included the 2015 Indoor heptathlon and Outdoor decathlon
school-record holder, Isaac Grieder. Grieder holds the Sun Belt Championship record of 7,301
points for his performance in the decathlon as well. He also guided Corey Wesley, a Warhawk long
and triple jumper, to a jump of 25 feet, 10 inches in long jump in 2014. During his five years at ULM, he coached 10 athletes to the NCAA East preliminaries and had more than 15 Sun Belt All-
Before his time at ULM, Vance was a part of the coaching staff at Louisiana State University as a graduate assistant, coaching the horizontal and vertical jumpers. While there, he received his master’s degree in Kinesiology, graduating in 2010. He came to LSU upon his graduation from Baylor University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Science Studies in 2008. During his four years, Vance was a fighting Baylor Bear track and field athlete. He competed in pole vault, and was a four-time Commissioner’s Honor Roll Selection and named to the All-Big 12 Academic team in 2008.
A Panhandle, Texas native, Vance was familiar with South Plains College, and as a Division I track coach, well aware of the success that SPC has achieved.
“I want to thank everyone I have encountered here for welcoming me to the South Plains College family. I have enjoyed my first year here immensely, and look forward to many more. Specifically, I want to thank coach Joe Tubb for giving me the opportunity at South plains, and for having the faith in me to give me control of a program with such a prestigious history of success.”