ACU athletics ushered in a new era Monday morning when it announced associate head coach at Liberty University, Lance Bingham, as the 19th head coach of the Wildcats’ track and field program. He takes over a program that has won 54 team national championships at the NCAA level, which is more than any other track and field program in intercollegiate athletics history.
Bingham will join the Wildcats’ coaching staff after serving 18 years as the associate head coach at Liberty University. Over the last five years, Bingham has helped the Flames to a combined 12 men’s and women’s conference titles and he was recognized as the 2008 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Regional Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
As a collegiate athlete at South Plains College, Bingham finished second at nationals as a decathlete in 1982 and 1983. Bingham returned to his alma mater for three years as head coach from 2001-2004, where he coached the women’s marathon team to the 2002 national championship and he was named the 2004 National Junior College Outdoor Coach of the Year.
ACU director of athletics, Lee De León said Bingham is a perfect fit for the track and field program.
“Lance is a West Texas native, has been a head coach in the area (South Plains College), has achieved tremendous success at the NCAA Division I level, and, most importantly, is a strong Christian who embodies our athletics department’s theme of ‘Excellence for Christ’,” De León said.
Bingham, who was born and raised in Meadow, said he is humbled to be able to return to West Texas with this opportunity.
“I am very excited to be able to be part of a track and field program that has such a rich tradition and history,” Bingham said. I am thankful to (ACU president) Dr. Phil Schubert and Lee De León for this tremendous opportunity.”
The decision to hire Bingham comes just under a month after former head coach Keith Barnier was relieved of his duties. Jerrod Cook, will continue to serve as the interim head coach when the Wildcats head to Corpus Christi for the conference championships this weekend and until June 1, when Bingham will officially take over.