In August of 2006, then University of Texas head women's track and field coach Beverly Kearney announced the hiring of former Texas All-America distance performer Stephen Sisson as assistant coach of the Longhorns' women's track & field and cross country program.
Since his arrival, Sisson has helped invigorate the Texas Cross Country program. The 2012 cross country season featured a return trip to the NCAA Championships for the third time in as many years. Sisson mentored junior Marielle Hall to a 23rd-place, All-America performance and the highest finish by a Longhorn at the national meet since 1989. Hall accomplished the feat following a title-winning race at the NCAA South Central Region meet that earned her region "Athlete of the Year" honors. Four of UT's five scorers at the region meet picked up All-Region honors as Texas earned second as a team to move on to nationals.
UT's 2011 cross country campaign saw the Longhorns earn their second straight NCAA Championships berth after being ranked as high as 14th nationally during the season. Sisson coached Texas to a second-place finish at both the South Central Regional and the Big 12 Championships. Five UT harriers earned All-Region honors while two were named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Texas as a team also earned USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition after recording a cumulative GPA of 3.48.
In 2010, Sisson mentored the Longhorn Cross Country team to its best season in nearly a decade. Over the course of the fall, Texas earned its highest national ranking since 1999 when it came in at No. 15 following the ISU Pre-Nationals meet, won four team titles and placed in the top five twice. After finishing fifth at the Big 12 Championships, Texas went on to win the NCAA South Central Region Championship for the first time since 2003. The Horns placed four runners in the top eight and all five of their scorers were named to the All-Region team. For his efforts, Sisson was named the 2010 USTFCCCA South Central Region Coach of the Year. Texas earned a spot at the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2003 and finished with 441 points, the highest total since 1989. Then junior Mia Behm placed 35th at NCAAs to pick up All-America honors.
In the years prior, Texas Cross Country moved its way up in the NCAA South Central Region rankings under Sisson's tutelage, including a fifth-place regional performance in 2008. Then second-year runner Betzy Jimenez made the NCAA All-South Central Region team with her 15th-place finish. Sisson also coached three Academic All-Big 12 selections - Jimenez, junior Larkin Geyer and sophomore Lauren Salisbury.
On the track, Sisson has also coached national standouts in the distance area. All-American Behm placed second in the 5,000-meter at the 2011 NCAA indoor nationals and fellow All-American Sara Sutherland followed up with a fifth-place, record-setting performance in the event at 2012 NCAA Indoors. Sutherland's time of 15:53.73 set a new UT school record in the event, one of several records that have been broken under Sisson's leadership. Brittany Marches posted two new all-time marks for Texas in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase during the 2012 outdoor season, while the 2011 indoor season saw Julie Amthor, Stacey-Ann Smith, Marielle Hall and Jimenez set a UT record (11:14.53) in the distance medley relay, breaking the previous top mark by exactly five seconds.
Sisson and Kearney also worked with All-American 800-meter runner Temeka Kincy, who earned two All-America honors with a fourth-place finish in the 800 and as a leg of the 4x400-meter relay at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Kincy shaved close to six seconds off her career-best over a two-week period and ran a lifetime best in the final round of one of the fastest 800 races in NCAA history.
Prior to joining the staff as a full-time coach, Sisson worked as a volunteer assistant with Texas on two separate occasions, most recently serving as volunteer coach with the UT women's program since December of 2005.
Sisson served as a coach, manager and director at Austin's RunTex University (2001-04) prior to his duties as business owner of the Rogue Training Systems, based in Austin, since 2004.
As a UT student-athlete, Sisson competed for the Longhorns from 1989-91 and in 1993. He was a three-time All-American in cross country and track & field, finishing 19th at the 1990 NCAA Cross Country Championships, third in the 5,000-meter at the 1993 NCAA indoor meet and fifth in the 10,000-meter run at the 1993 NCAA outdoor event.
Sisson held the Longhorns indoor 5,000-meter school record for 10 years with a time of 13:50.4, set at the 1993 NCAA indoor nationals, and currently ranks second all-time in that event on the Texas all-time list. Sisson also was the three-time Southwest Conference individual champion in the indoor and outdoor 5,000 and 3,000-meter Steeplechase events, and helped lead the Longhorns to SWC titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field.
His leadership and talent stood out as he captained the cross country team for three years and the track team for one season.
In 1993, Sisson represented the United States internationally at both the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Word Half-Marathon Championships in Brussels, Belgium and at the Niagata (Japan) Ekiden Relay.
A native of San Antonio, he graduated from Churchill High School where he was the 1988 Texas 5A state champion in the 3,200-meter run.