Assistant Coach Len Klepack
Full Name: Len Klepack
Len Klepack is in his first season as assistant coach of The University of Texas' women's track and field/cross country program. He joins UT after spending the past six seasons at East Carolina University, where he was the men's cross county head coach all six years and spent the past five years as the women's cross country head coach. During the track seasons, Klepack served as an assistant coach, primarily working with the development of ECU's middle-distance and distance athletes.
"Len Klepack brings a level of experience and expertise to our distance events that will help elevate our program's total quality on the conference and national level," noted Texas head track and field coach Bev Kearney. "He'll be a great asset in the distance areas in both the recruiting and coaching aspects. We are excited about our distance program because we have many talented athletes here and we look forward to their development. I know Len is the one to get it done."
In 2003, Klepack led the Pirates' men's and women's cross country teams to a combined five team titles, including top eight finishes at the Conference USA Championships. He guided Kyle MacKenzie to the C-USA cross country title, as MacKenzie became the first ECU male athlete to win an individual conference crown. Additionally, ECU's Caitlin Littlefield earned All Conference USA honors with her 13th-place showing.
On the track, Klepack tutored Ricardo Bell and Tara DeBrielle to conference titles in the 800m, while Johanna Allen earned All-C-USA honors in the 5,000m and 10,000m. Bell and DeBrielle also earned all-conference accolades in the 800m during the indoor season, while both the men's and women's distance medley relay teams finished in the top six at the conference indoor championships.
In his first year (1997) leading the men's cross country team, the Pirates set five course records, four school records and claimed three team invitational titles. School records continued to fall during the 2000 campaign as eight marks were set, while Justin England qualified for the NCAA Championships.
In addition to his team's athletic successes, Klepack's women's cross country squad earned NCAA Division I National All-Academic Team honors for the 2002-03 campaign. The Pirates' 3.43 grade-point-average (GPA) was the 37th highest among D-I women's cross country teams. Both Pirate squads earned Academic All-America honors following the fall 2002 semester, recognizing cross country teams who had a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
"Len coaches the individual, as well as the event," Kearney continued. "He is not a 'cookie-cutter' coach who has a set program who then expects everyone to fit in. He is very innovative and extremely passionate about performances. Len is motivated to get the best out of each athlete as a person, student and as an athlete, and that is our goal here at Texas. He is a perfect fit in my mind."
'I'm extremely excited to join the proud tradition of the Texas track and field program,' stated Klepack. 'I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with, who many consider, the top female coach in the business. I'm looking forward to working with the outstanding student-athletes at UT and hope to maintain the level of success that the Longhorns are accustomed to achieving.
Klepack was highly-regarded as one of the top middle-distance and distance coaches in the country, as evidenced by his accomplishments at Columbia (N.J.) High School, prior to joining the ECU staff in 1998. He spent 25 years at the helm of Columbia's cross country and track programs and led the school to 15 state titles and five national H.S. records during his tenure. He coached 74 state and sectional champions, including former Olympian and Tennessee standout Joetta Clark and her sister, Hazel. Joetta went on to make four Olympic teams and is widely considered to be one of the most consistent middle distance runners in the history of the United States. Hazel went on to make two Olympic teams and is still currently competing.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Klepack earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in physical education and health from Brooklyn College in 1963 and 1965, respectively. Klepack is married to the former Nancy McGill and the couple have four children: Lynn (39), Kim (36), Kali (28) and Ayana (24).