The NIU track & field team headed down to Texas April 12 for the UTEP Invitational (Credit: Jorge Salgado)
Veteran coach and highly touted recruiter Vince Bingham enters his third season as the NIU's field events coach in 2015-16. The tenure of the much-respected Bingham in DeKalb has coincided with the best years in the history of NIU women's track and field.
A 2014 inductee into the Missouri Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame, Bingham joined the Huskies after spending one season as the head coach at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kan. Prior to working at NCCC, Bingham spent time as a head coach at Missouri Baptist and as an assistant at Kansas, Southern Illinois, Missouri, Lincoln (Mo.) and Lindenwood.
"We are excited to have Vince join our staff," said NIU's Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Connie Teaberry. "He brings a wealth of knowledge as a coach and a recruiter. Our staff is once again complete and I'm looking forward to the new success Coach Bingham will assist in helping the program reach."
"The facilities are amazing and, knowing Connie, I feel like we have a great opportunity to do a really good job here with it being so close to Chicago and in the state of Illinois," Bingham said. "There are many good athletes in the state of Illinois. The facilities are unbelievable. Where I came from, we had nothing. Now we have everything, so I'm really excited."
And success has certainly followed Bingham to NIU, which culminated in the historic 2014-15 campaign for the Huskie track & field program. NIU posted its best ever finishes at the MAC indoor and outdoor Championships, earning fourth place at both meets while also earning a combined eight MAC gold medals at the conference meets -- more than double what the program had previously won before 2015. Under Bingham's guidance, six NIU school records fell in 2015 in events coached by the long-time member of the collegiate track & field community.
Bingham's first season at NIU also resulted in historic success for the program, as freshman Claudette Day became the second Huskie ever to reach the NCAA Championships, where she finished 21st in the high jump. In total, five NIU school records in field events fell under Bingham's guidance in 2014-15, including Day's 5-10 high jump and Sidra Sherril's 170-0 effort in the discus.
As the head coach at Neosho County in 2012-13, Bingham led the Panthers to a stellar season in both indoor and outdoor competition. NCCC brought home seven All-Americans from the NJCAA national meet in March and followed that up with 11 individual All-Americans at the outdoor national championships. As a team, Bingham's Panthers placed ninth on the women's side and eighth in the final men's standings.
Prior to his stint at NCCC, Bingham served as the Director of Track Operations at national power Kansas from 2009-11. During his two years in Lawrence, he not only helped with the day-to-day operations, but also assisted in helping the Jayhawks place in the top 25 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. His recruiting efforts also lifted once unranked KU to the 2013 NCAA national outdoor title.
Bingham also found plenty of success as the head coach at Missouri Baptist. In 2006, he led the Spartans to NAIA national titles at both the indoor and outdoor meets in 2006. His team also set eight NAIA national records at the 2006 indoor meet and had 18 of the 21 athletes earn All-American status. At the 2006 outdoor meet, MBU took home eight individual titles. In total, Bingham's athletes brought home 78 All-American honor on both the men's and women's side to help him net the NAIA National Track & Field Coach of the Year Award in 2006. Off the track, MBU had five Academic All-Americans.
In 1998, Bingham was an assistant on Lindenwood's men's indoor national championship squad.
All told, Bingham has helped coach 14 different athletes to NAIA championships.
Additionally, he has coached five future Olympians in Nickesha Anderson (Jamaica - 2008), Ibrahim Bashir (Kuwait - 2004), Brittany Borman (United States - 2012), Nikki Holder (Canada - 2012) and Randy Lewis (Grenada - 2004 & 2008).