Travis Covey has been named head coach of the track and field program at Black Hills State University.
Covey, who served as assistant BHSU track and field coach this year, takes over for Scott Walkinshaw who recently stepped down as head coach of track and field but will continue to serve as head coach of the cross country program.
Covey has regional, national, and international experience coaching track and field. He spent two seasons at Central Michigan University, an NCAA Division I school, coaching the sprinters, jumpers, pole vaulters, and multi-event competitors. Covey worked with one of the top triple jumpers in Israel, who is competing for a spot on the Israeli Olympic Team.
Covey spent five years at Chadron State College as both a student-athlete and coach. He competed four years for the Eagles in both football and track. He was a sprinter for the Eagles and then coached the sprint and pole vault athletes.
Covey is looking forward to the challenge of moving forward with the high achieving Yellow Jacket track and field program.
“I am honored to be given this opportunity to work as the head track and field coach. My goal is not to remain status quo; I want to improve on what we’ve done. We’re going to keep this thing moving forward,” Covey says.
Jhett Albers, athletic director at BHSU, says he’s excited to have Covey join the head coaching ranks at BHSU and is confident he’ll continue the long tradition of success in the program. “Travis’ organization, enthusiasm, knowledge and love for the sport will be a great asset for the future of our track and field program," Albers says.
Covey takes the helm after a period of unprecedented success under the direction of Walkinshaw. During Walkinshaw’s 10-year span as head coach, the Yellow Jacket track and field teams have powered their way into the national spotlight, winning the national combined team title in 2000 and finishing in the top five seven out of the last eight years. BHSU is the only NAIA program to have qualified both men’s and women’s teams to the NAIA National Championship Meet every year since the 2000 season.
Walkinshaw has been named Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) Coach of the Year 14 times and Region III Coach of the Year seven times. He was also named men’s team NAIA Coach of the Year in 2000, and in the same year, was selected by the South Dakota Sports Writers as the Collegiate Coach of the Year.
The BHSU women’s team has won eight out of the last nine DAC team titles while the men have won seven out of the last eight conference titles. Walkinshaw has coached five individual conference champions.