The Ohio Wesleyan men’s and women’s track & field teams have given head coach Kris Boey a remarkable career milestone.
When the Battling Bishops swept the men’s and women’s indoor titles at the North Coast Athletic Conference championship meet in March, the two championships increased Boey’s career total to 25 (both men and women’s indoor and outdoor), making him the all-time leader among NCAC track & field coaches.
Now in his 14th season at Ohio Wesleyan, Boey has helped produce 161 NCAA qualifiers, 37 All-Americans, 37 NCAC Athlete of the Year selections, and 995 All-NCAC honorees. His student-athletes have broken 157 school records. Boey’s peers have voted him NCAC Coach of the Year 25 times. He also has received Regional Coach of the Year honors 10 times since 2007.
“This is an accomplishment that I take great pride as a milestone in my career, but it really means that we have had exceptional student-athletes who dedicated themselves to being part of something bigger than themselves and worked hard to win these team championships,” Boey says.
Boey says the teams’ spirit and culture set them above the competition. “I believe that we have created an outstanding team culture, but around the team concept. That can be a difficult thing to accomplish in an individual-team sport.”
With so many celebrated athletes in his 14-year tenure, Boey says, “We look to recruit students with the best combination of character, scholarship, and athletic ability. It’s important to consider the person first. Just because a person is talented doesn’t mean that they will be a good fit in our program. We will take chances on developing athletes if they really want to be a part of the team and University. Often times these student-athletes will grow to become difference makers in our program and on our campus.”
Boey says his most important mentor has been longtime OWU coach (1960-97) Marv Frye. “Marv has reinforced the value in doing things the right way, not just what will best serve us in the short term. He’s become like family to me and I’ve learned more about the sport from him than anyone else.”
He adds, “I’ve also learned a great deal from my coaching colleagues in the department, as well as my coaching staff. They should get as much credit as the head coach.”
Though his teams have 25 titles, Boey is a coach who doesn’t follow the “winning is everything” philosophy.
Boey says his work ethic comes from his parents. “I learned from them that things may not always come easy, but they’re still worth it.”
He’s also grateful to his wife, Leslie, and children, Abbie, Alex, and Avery, for their “support and understanding in allowing me to do what I need to do on behalf of our student-athletes. “Winning a team championship is always a goal, and an accomplishment that we all can enjoy together, but it is not the ultimate goal,” he says.
“While our accomplishments have been fun and rewarding, it doesn’t mean we’ve failed if we don’t win. I cherish my first four years at OWU when we were chasing the championship title just as much as I’ve enjoyed the last 10 years. As long as our students are growing and preparing for the next chapter in their lives, we have been successful.”
With the outdoor track & field season underway, the Bishops look to continue their success under their unquestioned leader, Coach Kris Boey.
Zane Kieffer ’16, a major in Health and Human Kinetics with a concentration in sport and exercise management, is a sports information intern with Ohio Wesleyan University Athletics.