Rathke to serve as interim head coach for Texan Cross Country, Track and Field programs after Holland resigns


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton Athletics announced Friday that Clay Holland has resigned as head coach of the Texan Cross Country and Track and Field programs. Tarleton Assistant Cross Country Head Coach and Assistant Track and Field Coach Chase Rathke has been named the interim head coach and will lead the Texans through the rest of the 2023-24 campaign.

“I want to thank Clay Holland for his work and dedication to Tarleton State over these years,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman said. “I’m confident that Chase Rathke can lead the Texans to further success this spring, he knows this program better than anyone and has helped Holland reach our current level of success. After the spring season concludes, we will lead a national search for our next leader of the programs, and certainly our current coaching staff members will be considered.”

Holland had been a member of the Tarleton State coaching staff since 2019.

“I’ve been coaching for 15 years and it’s time for me to step away to focus on my family,” Holland said. “I have full confidence in Chase Rathke to lead this special group this spring, and I know the Texans are in good hands moving forward.”

Rathke came back to Stephenville, where he shined as a student-athlete, to become the assistant cross country head coach and assistant track and field coach last season. In his first season on staff, six Texans won their events at the WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, three were medalists at the WAC Indoor Championships, and nine posted personal bests at the WAC Cross Country Championships.

Already through two indoor meets that took place last week, the Texans had multiple student-athletes finish in the top-10 of all-time program ranks, including a new school record in the 5000m.

Rathke is in the middle of his eighth year of coaching since graduating from Tarleton State. He became Tarleton’s first long distance national champion when he won the 1,500m at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor National Championships. He also finished second in the event at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor National Championships in the final race of his career, plus earned bronze medals twice at the NCAA Indoor National Championships, first in the 800m in 2014 and later in the mile as a senior in 2015. He received All-American, USTFCCA All-Region and All-LSC accolades on the track from 2013-2015, and also earned All-Conference honors in cross country as a freshman and sophomore.

The Texans will resume their indoor season on Jan. 26 at the New Mexico Team Open, one of three indoor events through February. The outdoor season will begin on March 7 at the UTA Invite, and conclude at the WAC Outdoor Championships May 9-11.

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