Dr. Coach Joe I. Vigil


About Dr. Coach Joe I. Vigil

A Coach, educator, motivator, diplomat, for 50 years and officially recognized legend.

Vigil earned his bachelors and master’s degrees from Adams State with post-graduate work at Louisiana State University and Toledo University. He received a masters from Colorado College, and Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.

Vigil led teams to 12 NAIA National Cross Country Championships, 260 NAIA All-Americans in cross-country and track & field. He has been the NAIA cross-country national coach of the year 13 times, twice the NAIA national track and field coach of the year. He is a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame and two NCAA Division II national titles in 1992 and 1993. His team won the 1992 NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championship with a perfect score of 15 points. In cross country and track & field, Vigil’s teams won a total of 19 national championships.

He is 14 time NCAA division II national coach of the year in both Track and Field and Cross Country, and now the New Namesake for NCAA DII Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year as of 2016. He has a won/loss record for 29 years at 3013 wins against 176 losses, and 2 ties. A win percentage of 94.2%, the highest win percentage ever recorded by any single collegiate sport. His teams have produced: 425 All Americans, 87 individual national champions, 12 national team records, 12 individual national records

Coach Vigil is the only American to lecture, and give clinics on 5 continents, he is inducted in 11 Halls of Fame, including Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, and USTFCCCA Hall of Fame. He has earned numerous awards such as Coach of the Year award in the ’88 Olympic Games, TAC President’s Award, the Coaching Education Lifetime Achievement Award and the USOC “Doc” Councilman Coach Award twice and now USA Track and Field “Legend Coach” award (2015).

Coach Vigil is an international coach, coaching in two Olympic Games (88,08), the World Championships, the World University Games, the Pan-American Games (4x), seven IAAF World Cross Country Championships. A USATF Legend Coach, Vigil has coached athletes to 20 World Cross Country team and individual Medals. He has coached 19 National Championships, 14 Cross Country, 2 Track and Field, 3 Junior TAC Cross Country Championships. This is the highest number of National Championships any coach has won in the annals of collegiate athletics.

Dr. Joe Vigil, world renowned coach and educator for over 50 years. He is a noted lecturer and author on distance training, including distances from 800m – marathon, he has had athletes have 20 podium appearances at World Championships and Olympic Games in both cross country and track & field, making Vigil the only active coach to attain such success. He has also produced 47 individual senior champions, 17 national records, and two athletes with No.1 world rankings.

Among his esteemed pupils are 2004 Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalists Stephano Baldini, Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor respectively. He also coached Brenda Martinez in 2013 to a World Championships bronze medal in the 800 meters. He currently assists Brenda Martinez through her coach.

He is USATF Coaching Education Program’s Original Developer. Dr. Joe Vigil, was a founding member of The Athletic Congress (TAC) and USATF Coaching Programs in 1980, serving as chairman for nine years. He is a Level IV IAAF Lead Instructor with experience at all levels from high school associations and USATF to the U.S. Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee as a coaching clinician. He has developed courses such as, Basic Principles of Endurance Training (2 hrs.) and USATF/IAAF Academy for Endurance a 12-hour course featuring technical classes, laboratory training sessions, cross country specialty drills, periodization training for the cross country season, team building strategies, and long term athlete development for the endurance runner.

Vigil is equally proud of his runners as scholars as well as their pursuit of athletic excellence. Taking an active interest in their classroom experience. In that regard, his athletes have secured an average of 3.2 grade point averages with a 90 percent graduation rate. He has the Joe Vigil Sports Science Award which recognizes a coach who is prolific in the areas of scholarship and teaching who contributes to coaching literature by presenting cutting edge sport science research findings through presentations and publications

Vigil notes the premise of his professional goals is to develop his student-athletes through “The Pursuit of Excellence” in family, life, academics and athletics.

“Most athletes are ready to make an effort in a race. Few are ready to carry their efforts through months or years of training and racing.” – Coach Joe I Vigil