POSTED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 8:12pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 10:44pm
Tuesday, June 15: The conclusion of the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships were bittersweet for the Miners as Bob Kitchens walks away from a storied 22-year career as head coach of the UTEP track and field programs. Kitchens, who began his career at Mississippi State, retires with 26 national champions, 263 All-Americans, 18 conference titles and 630 conference champions through a 42-year career.
“Today was definitely a great way to head out,” Kitchens said. “I’ve got mixed emotions about that. It’s all good, it’s a little sad, but at the same time it was a great day.”
Kitchens led the Miners to the NCAA Championships, and on his final day as UTEP Head Coach, Kitchens watched as possibly the greatest UTEP female athlete won two National Championships: Blessing Okagbare won the National Championship in the 100M (10.98) and the Long Jump (23-03.50).
"I never expected this. When I started in coaching, I never expected anything like this. All I can say is that I have had a good run. That chapter of my life is closed. That book is shut. I'm fixing to start a new book here and a new chapter and right now the pages are blank. I got up that morning and I am thinking, you know, this is the last time you are going to walk out there as the Head Coach of UTEP, and I was thinking you know, enjoy the day because it's a special moment. It was a good meet to end on, and it's always nice to have great athletes surrounding you."