LA Tech is led by head coach Gary Stanley, who is entering his 36th year at Louisiana Tech and his 30th as head coach
LA Tech defeated both UL-Monroe and Northwestern State in the annual Jim Mize Invitational
Louisiana Tech ended the weekend in seventh place on the men’s side with 41 points
LA Tech will host its annual Jim Mize Invitational on March 17-18 in Ruston
Tech hosts Jim Mize Invitational on March 18-19
The 2017-18 campaign marks Stanley's 36th overall year at Louisiana Tech and his 30th as head coach of LA Tech's men's and women's track squads. During that span, Stanley has guided the Bulldog and Lady Techster track and field programs through five different conference affiliations (Southland, American South, Sun Belt, Western Athletic and Conference USA) and a bevy of national landscape changes but the constant factor throughout that time span has been LA Tech continuing to win championships.
In over three decades in Ruston, Stanley has amassed 21 Coach of the Year titles by his conference peers and won 19 conference championships in four different leagues as a head coach. When he was an assistant coach, Tech won another two conference titles to bring Stanley's overall trophy haul to 21 conference championships.
Stanley has guided athletes to 46 All-America honors in his tenure as head coach of the program including 21 of those honors coming in the last five seasons, an average of 4.2 All-America honors per year.
The most recent string of team success has been a dominating women's program that has won 13 of the last 14 Western Athletic Conference championships including seven consecutive outdoor titles. The Lady Techsters have laid claim to the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 WAC Outdoor Championships and the 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 WAC Indoor Championships while the men continuously challenging for the top as well.
Four different conferences have bestowed the coach of the year honor on Stanley including the Southland, American South, Sun Belt and Western Athletic Conferences.
A 1977 graduate of Southeastern Louisiana, Stanley's long and illustrious career in Ruston began in 1982 when he started his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant fresh off coaching a Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A state championship at Bonnabel High School in 1980. In 1985, Stanley earned his master's degree from Louisiana Tech.
He coached John Ratcliffe at Bonnabel High School as the future Tech star set the Louisiana state record in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:12, a mark that still stands today. Ratcliffe then ran an astounding 8:53 in the 3,200m at a national high school postseason event before going on to have a stellar career as a Bulldog.
In 1984, Stanley was promoted from graduate assistant to a full-time assistant coach. Also in that year, he was given the reigns as the head coach for the cross country program here at Tech. Two years later, he guided Tech's men to a Southland Conference cross country title. Stanley, after being a district champion in the mile and being crowned the city of New Orleans Cross Country Champion while at East Jefferson High School, went on to letter one year at Pensacola Junior College and three years at Southeastern Louisiana. His honors include the 1970 New Orleans cross country city champion, 1972 Southern AAU three-mile champion, 1973 Southern AAU one-mile champion, 1975 U.S. Track and Field Federation all-regional cross country and the 1976 LSU Invitational three-mile champion.
One of Stanley's highlights was helping lead SLU to its only conference cross country championship in 1973 while finishing eighth overall in the race.
Stanley attributes his success to the guidance of former head coach Jerry Dyes during his six-year assistant position under Dyes.
"Coach Dyes was the greatest coach I've ever been around," said Stanley. "He was so instrumental in my growth as a young assistant."
After serving six years as a full-time assistant in Ruston, Stanley was named the head coach at Louisiana Tech in 1988. Since then, his program has become one of the best and most consistent on the Louisiana Tech campus and throughout the state in track and field.
Prior to the team's WAC title winning streak, Tech's biggest team achievement under Stanley's guidance came at the national championships in 1999 with the women's team finishing 17th in the country in 1999 at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Boise, Idaho, ahead of national powerhouses Tennessee, Michigan and Miami.
The women's team finished 10th at the NCAA Mid-East Regionals in 2004 with 22 points, placing the Lady Techsters second in the state behind LSU and ahead of national elite programs like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue and Ole Miss.
The Lady Techster 4x400m relay teams in 2007 claimed All-America honors both indoors and outdoors with the outdoor relay finishing third in the nation.
Stanley's expertise with distance runners has led Tech to qualify runners in every event at nationals from the 800 meters to the 10,000 on the men's side. LSU is the only other track program in the state to accomplish such a feat.
After more than a decade in the WAC with several conference championships, Stanley now turns his attention to Conference USA with the hopes of bringing home a conference title in a fifth league.
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