PITTSBURG, Kan. — The retirement of Pittsburg State head track and field coach Russ Jewett left the door open for someone who’s been dreaming of this opportunity as soon as he walked through the doors of Pitt State. But, the Gorillas didn’t have to go too far to find their next hire.
It was announced Monday morning that Kyle Rutledge has been named the new head coach of the Gorillas cross country and track and field programs.
“When I arrived here nine years ago, it was a phenomenal opportunity, and then I just grew and fell in love with the school, and the community, and yeah, it became a dream,” said Rutledge. “Just know that I’m going to be here for a long time. You know, it was relief that me and my family feel at home here. We love it here, we love the community and being close to home. It was more of a sign of relief that we’re going to be here for the long haul.”
Rutledge is no stranger to the program, having spent nine years as an assistant coach and four years as an associate head coach overseeing the coaching of the high jump, pole vault, multi and hurdle events for the Gorillas.
Rutledge has had a lot of success over the past nine years, coaching 45 All-American performances, seven national champions and 10 national runners-up, as well as a score of All-MIAA performances and 22 school records.
He also helped guide the Pitt State women to the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championship which was the first team title in school history, as well as five straight MIAA Outdoor Championships from 2015-2019 and five straight MIAA Indoor Championships from 2016-2020.
Rutledge is also the son of legendary Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) track and field coach Tom Rutledge. The father-son duo are both members of the MSSU Hall of Fame.
Other promotions within the Gorillas program include assistant track and field coach Brian Mantooth, who has been promoted to the role of Associate Head Coach/Meet Director. Ben Barrows, will now serve as a full-time assistant coach after serving as a part-time assistant coach in the program the past four years. Barrows will focus on leading the cross country and distance programs.