Former Tusculum College cross country coach Dr. Jim Fields will return to guide the Pioneer harrier program announced Director of Athletics Frankie DeBusk.
Fields served as head coach of the Tusculum cross country program for five seasons (2000-04) as his runners garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors 11 times, including two SAC Freshman Runners of the Year and the 2003 SAC Female Runner of the Year. The Tusculum women’s program recorded three third place finishes in the conference (2001, 2002, 2003), while the men’s squad posted a sixth place showing at the 2003 SAC Championship.
Fields was responsible for bringing in two of the best cross country runners in the history of program in All-Region harriers Amanda Musick and Sue Lewis. In 2001, Musick and Lewis became the first Tusculum student-athletes to compete at a NCAA Division II national championship event.
Musick advanced to the NCAA National Championship three times in her career (2001, 2003, 2004), while also earning All-Region distinction an amazing four times. In 2003, she was the SAC Runner of the Year as she won a remarkable five events that season. She still holds the school record with 10 individual titles.
During Fields’ tenure as cross country coach, the Pioneers captured eight team championships and 14 individual titles.
“I’m very happy to have Coach Fields back with us at the helm of our cross country teams,” said DeBusk. “He is committed to making Tusculum one of the premier cross country programs in the South Atlantic Conference and I look forward to working with him once again.”
He also mentored two-time All-SAC runner Ross Lewis (2002, 2003). Lewis posted some of the best 8K times in school history, including his personnel best 27:08 at the 2003 SAC Championship. Lewis recorded three individual title wins, while guiding the team to a pair of meet championships.
“I’m excited about returning to coach at Tusculum,” said Fields. “Working with college cross country runners is extremely rewarding because of their self discipline and goal setting. I have always enjoyed interacting with the runners and seeing their continued improvement as runners, students, and human beings.”
From 1996-98, he served as Director of Athletics at Tusculum. He ushered in an era of growth for the Pioneer athletics program. Under his watch, Tusculum achieved NCAA Division II membership, opened the new Pioneer Arena, while completing TC’s initial steps for admission to the South Atlantic Conference.
He also served as the College’s Faculty Athletics Representative during the 1995-96 year before assuming the athletic director’s post.
Following high school, the Spring Grove, Va. native served three years in the U.S. Navy, specializing in communications. After the Navy, he attended Virginia Tech where he earns his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education in 1972. He later earned his Master’s from Virginia State in 1977 and an Ed.D from East Tennessee State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 1993.
Fields replaces Phil Roberts, who served as Tusculum cross country coach from 2005 to this past fall.
Coach Fields is married to the former Gayle Gilliam of Greeneville and they have two grown children, Kenneth and Melody. They are also the proud grandparents of two grandsons, Kenton (3) and Kade, who was born this past November.
Tusculum College, located in Greeneville, Tenn. is a affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA and is a NCAA Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference which is comprised of nine colleges and universities in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.