The 2012-13 season marks Wayne Phipps’ third season as Idaho’s Director of Track & Field/Cross Country and his 18th overall year with the program. He served as co-head coach from 2000-09 and was an assistant before that from 1995-99. In his time at Idaho, he has been honored nine times as a conference coach of the year and has led the Vandals to a record 12 total conference titles.
Since 2000, Phipps has overseen an Idaho track and field/cross country program that has produced five individual cross country champions, 46 indoor track and field champions and 103 outdoor champions. Vandals have claimed 19 conference athlete of the year awards, broken 15 conference records and qualified for the NCAA Championships 79 times. Since 2000, Vandal athletes have broken 30 indoor school records and 23 outdoor records, and at least one school record has fallen every year at Idaho during his tenure.
Additionally, Idaho has a very strong academic reputation as regular honorees among the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I All-Academic Teams in both men’s and women’s cross country and track and field. Since 2005, five Idaho track and field athletes have earned the Western Athletic Conference’s prestigious Stan Bates Award as the top male or female student-athlete in the conference, and the team’s athletes have been recognized with a combined 442 WAC All-Academic honors.
The 2011-12 season for Idaho featured a laundry list of team and individual accomplishments. Phipps’ Vandals claimed the 2011 women’s cross country crown - the team’s second in a row and fourth in seven tries - and sophomore Hannah Kiser became the team’s first individual NCAA Cross Country Championships qualifier since 2004. The Vandal men claimed Idaho’s first men’s WAC title in any sport with a dramatic win at the 2012 WAC Indoor Championships, then made it a sweep three months later on their home track at the WAC Outdoor Championships. In the 2012 track and field seasons alone, Vandals combined for three All-America honors, four school records, three WAC records, 21 individual WAC titles and three WAC relay titles, 88 men’s All-WAC honors, 43 women’s All-WAC accolades, 23 WAC Athlete of the Week awards and 97 WAC All-Academic honors.
Success is a staple under Phipps, and it began with his very first year at the position, when, in 2000, the Vandal men won the Big West title and Phipps was honored as 2000 Big West Men’s Track and Field Coach of the Year. In 2001, both the men and women won Big West titles and Phipps was chosen Big West Men’s Track and Field Coach of the Year once again. In each of his first three years at Idaho, the men’s team finished in the top 30 in the nation both indoors and outdoors to make Idaho one of only nine schools in the nation to do so. Phipps’ success wasn’t limited to track and field, as he also led the Vandal women to a 2002 Big West Cross Country title and earned Big West Cross Country Coach of the Year honors. In 2003, the women’s track and field team took home the Big West title.
Phipps led the Vandals to uncharted territory in 2004 when the women’s cross country team qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in the program’s history and finished 25th overall. The 2005 cross country season saw even more success, as the women’s team took home the University of Idaho’s first Western Athletic Conference title. Four Vandal runners finished in the top five and Dee Olson earned the individual title, as well as WAC Athlete of the Year and Phipps earned his fourth career Coach of the Year honor. In 2006, the second straight Phipps-coached athlete won the WAC as freshman Rhea Richter took home the women’s cross country individual title.
In 2007, Phipps led the women to their second cross country title in three years as four runners finished in the top 10. In 2008, he coached yet another WAC Champion, as Allix Lee-Painter won the women’s cross country title and the women finished second as a team. In 2010, Idaho claimed its third WAC title in five years, as the team put five runners in the top 15 to claim the crown. Making that title especially sweet was the fact that it was held in Moscow, and was Idaho’s first time hosting a WAC Championship event.
He currently coaches two-time Olympian and volunteer assistant coach Angela Whyte and has coached two-time Olympian and World Championship finalist Tawanda Chiwira, NCAA All-American and world-ranked hurdler Arend Watkins, and Olympian Sherwin James.
Phipps began his coaching career in his hometown of Prince George, British Columbia, with the Prince George Track and Field Club. During that time, he coached several provincial and national medalists and champions. As an athlete, Phipps was a three-year letterwinner in basketball and a four-year letterwinner in track and cross country at D.P. Todd Secondary. He also competed for the Prince George Track and Field Club, where he was coached by his father, Ron, and was a provincial champion and medalist in events ranging from the 100m to the 1500m and cross country. He also competed in both the cross country and track and field national championships in Canada.
Phipps competed for the University of Montana and the University of British Columbia, where he graduated with a degree in exercise science in 1991. Phipps earned his master’s of science from the University of Oregon in exercise and movement science, with a sports medicine major and minors in biomechanics and exercise physiology.
Team Conference Titles
• 2000 Big West Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
• 2001 Big West Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
• 2001 Big West Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
• 2002 Big West Women’s Cross Country
• 2003 Big West Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
• 2005 WAC Women’s Cross Country
• 2007 WAC Women’s Cross Country
• 2010 WAC Women’s Cross Country
• 2011 WAC Women’s Cross Country
• 2012 WAC Men's Indoor Track & Field
• 2012 WAC Men's Outdoor Track & Field
Individual Coaching Honors
• 2000 Big West Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year
• 2001 Big West Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year
• 2002 Big West Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
• 2005 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
• 2007 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
• 2010 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
• 2011 WAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year
• 2012 WAC Men's Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year
• 2012 WAC Men's Outdoor Track & Field co-Coach of the Year