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June 24, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Head Coach and Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan has accepted the director position for the University of Tennessee's men's and women's program.
"We want to thank Beth for all of her hard work and dedicated efforts on behalf of the Penn State track and field and cross country programs," said Dave Joyner, Penn State Director of Athletics. "Under Beth's leadership, our programs reached new heights in winning Big Ten Championships, NCAA individual titles and competing among the top teams nationally. We will immediately begin a national search to identify a new head coach who will continue the academic and athletic excellence of our men's and women's track and field and cross country programs."
"My 15 years at Penn State have been outstanding for both Jim and myself," said Sullivan. "We have enjoyed all of our time here and will miss this Happy Valley tremendously. I would like to thank Penn State, the Penn State Athletic department, Penn State Track and Field/Cross Country and all of our friends, fans, alums and family associated for a great ride over the years. It has been an honor to represent Penn State and to wear the Blue and White each day. I will treasure all that I have experienced here forever. A special thanks to our former athletic administration of Tim Curley, Sue Scheetz and the late Ellen Perry for hiring me and helping me grow and develop this program. My staffs, both past and present, have helped me achieve all that we have accomplished and I am humbled to have worked alongside them all.
"A big thank you to the team members I have had the true pleasure to coach over the years. All of you have made this a great place to work and an amazing place to win!!
"Jim and I look forward to this next phase in life at the University of Tennessee and will always carry the pride of Penn State with us."
Sullivan began her Penn State career as the head coach of the women's cross country and track and field programs in August of 1999. In the summer of 2006, she took on her dual role as Head Coach and Director of Track and Field/Cross Country when long-time Nittany Lion head men's coach Harry Groves retired.
Throughout her Penn State career, 158 Nittany Lions (116 women and 42 men) have earned All-America honors, including four NCAA champions. Sullivan earned 32 Coach of the Year awards en route to Penn State's nine Big Ten titles, including the 2014 indoor and outdoor conference championships. Six of her student-athletes earned Big Ten Athlete of the Year accolades with 88 individual Big Ten Champions and 19 Big Ten Relay Champions. She has also coached three Nittany Lions to appearances in the Olympics and guided 32 Penn State student-athletes to USTFCCCA Regional Athlete of the Year honors.