Track and field will become Hollins University’s ninth intercollegiate athletic program.
The team is expected to start competition as early as the 2019-20 indoor track and field season and will continue into the spring 2020 outdoor season.
“We are excited to add track to our slate of intercollegiate teams at Hollins,” said Director of Athletics Myra Sims. “We plan to focus on distance events at first, so we expect that it will enhance our ability to recruit for the cross country program as well.”
Robert Sullivan Jr., who was promoted to head coach of Hollins’ cross country team in August, has been tapped to lead the new track and field program. He is also currently the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville, Virginia, and is a Level One Certified Coach for USA Track and Field.
“We are fortunate to have Coach Sullivan here to help us get the program started,” Sims noted.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to be the first track coach at Hollins,” said Sullivan. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be here during this time of growth, both athletically and academically. With this addition, I hope cross country will grow as well. It will definitely help us recruit high-quality runners because a lot of them like to run all three seasons. I look forward to having both programs build off one another.”
Track and field was chosen due to its increased participation rates across Virginia and the country. The proposal put together by Sims, using data from the National Federation of State High School Associations, shows track and field as the most popular high school sport for female participation for nine straight years.
This is the first athletic program Hollins has added since the university reinstated the cross country team in 2016.