File photo_Vols gear up for SEC Outdoor Championships

Beth Alford-Sullivan during the Tennessee Relays at Tom Black track on April 7, 2017.

Tennessee director of track and field and cross country Beth Alford-Sullivan has been rewarded for her program’s success.

On Thursday, Tennessee Athletics announced that Alford-Sullivan’s contract has been extended through June of 2022.

"Tennessee track and field has an outstanding history of excellence, and while we experienced some lean years prior to her hiring in 2014, Coach Sullivan has overseen a remarkable resurgence," athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in a university release.

"We're proud of the progress of the program under her direction and felt that a new contract was an appropriate acknowledgment of our commitment to her. With a major facility facelift in the works for Tom Black Track — and with Tennessee set to host the 2018 Track & Field Outdoor Championships — this is a very exciting time for the program."

After being hired in June 2014 as the first woman to lead a men’s sports program in SEC history, Alford-Sullivan has guided athletes to multiple awards, including seven individual national championships, 90 USTFCCCA All-Americans and a Bowerman Award for Christian Coleman.

Coleman left Tennessee as arguably the most impressive track and field athlete in the program’s history, honored as both the USTFCCCA National Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and the USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2017.

Alford-Sullivan has also produced five top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships. The Vols fielded 19 All-American selections in its 2016 indoor campaign and notched two top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships. For its 2016 outdoor season, Tennessee had 29 All-Americans named. On top of this, the men’s squad finished in third place at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships.

In 2017, Zach Long and Megan Murray were named All-Region, with Long also garnering All-SEC honors. Niamh Schumacher, Alex Crigger and John Elrod earned SEC All-Freshman awards as well.

Alford-Sullivan’s original contract would have expired on June 15.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," Alford-Sullivan said. "I'm very honored to be at the helm of this historic and successful program, and I'm excited to continue on the journey that we are taking these teams and the program on.

"I have a great staff, and I really feel like we have worked hard over the last three and a half years to reload and refill the program. I'm excited to see where we can take it over the next five years. I am also thrilled with the leadership of (Senior Associate AD) Donna Thomas, my immediate supervisor, and excited about the future here for Tennessee athletics."

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