Jeff Perkins - Women's Cross Country Coach (2024)

Jeff Perkins became the director of UC Irvine cross country/track & field on Jan. 1, 2014. He has been a member of the Anteater staff since 2007, and served as associate head coach for four years before taking over the program after the retirement of long-time head coach and UCI Hall of Famer Vince O'Boyle.

Perkins works with the sprints, hurdles and multis. He is a USATF Level 1 and Level 2 certified sprints/hurdles/relays and jumps coach.

In his 11 years at the helm of the men’s and women’s track & field teams, the Anteaters have claimed seven All-America honors and won 32 Big West individual titles, while producing 68NCAA West First Round qualifying marks. In addition, 27 of UC Irvine's current indoor and outdoor school records have been set since Perkins took the reins.

Since Perkins joined the UCI staff as an assistant coach in 2007, the ‘Eaters have boasted one NCAA champion, 10 All-Americans, 15national qualifiers and 51 conference champions. He played a key role in UC Irvine's most recent individual national title, serving as one of Charles Jock's primary coaches during his illustrious collegiate career.

Jock is one of the most decorated runners in Anteater history as he won the 800m at the 2012 NCAA Track & Field Championships, making him the program's first individual national champion in 34 years. A three-time All-American, Jock was also the NCAA runner-up in 2011 and finished ninth in 2010. In addition, the three-time Big West Track Athlete of the Year won two conference titles in the 800m and was part of UCI's relay team that was crowned the 4x400 champions four years in a row. As a sophom*ore, Jockbroke the legendary Steve Scott's school record in the 800m that had stood for 32 years. On the international level, he competed for the USA National Team at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, and reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2016 when he qualified for theSummer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a third-place finish in the 800m at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Perkins also helped Persis William-Mensah make it to the 2016 Summer Olympics. William-Mensah, who had just completed her sophom*ore year at UC Irvine, was selected as a member of Ghana's 4x100 relay for the Rio Games. On the collegiate level,William-Mensahcemented herself as one of the Anteaters' all-time greats in the sprints. She graduated as the school record holder in the outdoor 100m, 200m and 4x100 relay, as well as the indoor 60m and 200m. She was a three-time NCAA West Preliminary qualifier in the 100m and five-time All-Big West performer. As a senior in 2018, William-Mensah claimed UCI's first individual conference title in the women's 100m in 22 years.

In 2024, Perkins mentored decathlete Josh Farmer, who earned his third career All-America honor with a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and went on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Farmer qualified for both meets with a personal-record 7,703 points at the Bryan Clay Invitational. That score ranks second all-time in program history and is first since the scoring table changed in 1986. At the Big West Championships, Farmer became UCI’s first conference champion in the decathlon since 1993. Liam Miksic (Javelin), Justin Willingham (Shot Put) and Jacob Hawkins (Discus) also combined to win three of the four throwing events at the Big West meet.

On the women’s side, Perkins led the Anteaters to a runner-up finish at the Big West Championships. For the second year in a row, Jolie Robinson was named the Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Meet. Robinson scored 22 points as she defended her title in the heptathlon, claimed runner-up honors in the long jump and placed fifth in the javelin. Kailah McKenzie was tabbed the Big West Women’s Freshman of the Year after being crowned UCI’s first high jump champion since 2009. She also made her way onto the podium with a third-place finish in the long jump.

Overall, nine Anteaters qualified for the NCAA West First Round in Fayetteville, Arkansas, while four outdoor and two indoor school records fell during the season. At the MPSF Indoor Championships, Deandra Tyler (Shot Put) and Reyna Johnson (Long Jump) brought home individual conference titles.

In 2023, Perkins helped Jolie Robinson to UC Irvine's first Big West heptathlon titlesince 2007. She went on to earn All-Big West honors with a runner-up finish in the long jump, while also scoring in the javelin to account for 20 points at the conference meet. Robinson was named both the Big West Women's Field Athlete of the Year and the Women's Field Athlete of the Meet. TheAnteaters claimed two more individual titles with Sameen Andarfinishing first in thewomen's 10,000-meter and Liam Miksicearning the victory in the men's javelin. Andar, Miksic, Evelin Meza (10K) and Reyna Johnson (Long Jump) all qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round. During the indoor and outdoor seasons, the 'Eaters set seven school records.

In 2022, Perkins led Josh Farmer to USTFCCCA All-America honors in the decathlon for the second year in a row. At the conference level, the women had their best Big West finish since 2014, placing third overall with 101 points. They combined for eight podium finishes. Hannah Chau (Steeplechase), Anna Vogtmann (1500m), Zani Meaders (400m), Emma McCarthy (800m), Kassidy Sani (Javelin) and Deandra Tyler (Shot Put) all had runner-up finishes in their respective events. Chau, who was running her second career steeple race, broke a 13-year old school record at the conference meet. On the men's side, Noah Holm claimed the shot put title and finished third in the discus, while Drew Pickett was the runner-up in the 110m hurdles. Liam Miksicalso made his way onto the podium in the javelin. Holm, Miksic and Sani advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary Championships.

In 2021,Kayla Richardson became the first Anteater to double in the 100m and 200m at the league meet since 1991, while alsocontributing to the first-place 4x100 relay. In the throws, Brianna Villanuevawon the discus title and claimed runner-up honors in the hammer. Richardson and Villanueva were both recognized for their performances as they were named the Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet and Field Athlete of the Meet, respectively. Also picking up individual Big West titles wereChau in the women’s 10000m and Kyle Tsu in the men’s shot put. Tsu (Shot Put), Richardson (100m) and Jack Pickard (Javelin) qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Championships.

In 2020, two indoor school records fellwith Zani Meaders setting a new 400m standard twice in three meets. Meaders,Sha'Maya Flanagan, Tess Mathes and Mychal Robinson also established a program-best 3:48.68 in the 4x400 relay. The outdoor track & field teams did not get a chance to compete as the 2020 season was canceled after one meet in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Barbara Coward had a banner season, breaking the school record in the discus, hammer and indoor weight throw. She claimed the Big West title in both outdoor events, making her the first women's hammer champion in program history. Coward qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round in the discus for the fourth consecutive year, while also advancing in the hammer for the second-straight season. She was joined at the regional meet byfour individuals from the UCI men's team in Asa Allen (110H), Seth Enochs (Long Jump), Jack Pickard (Javelin) and Kyle Tsu (Shot Put). Pickard established a new javelin school record in his Anteater debut at the Big West Challenge. In her freshman season, Zani Meadersalso ran an indoor program record in the 400m at the MPSF Championships.

In 2018, Persis William-Mensah bettered her own program bests in the indoor 60m and 200m. She then proceeded to break the 100m and 200m records during the outdoor season. Coward also shattered a two-year old record in the hammer throw. Both William-Mensah (100m, 200m, 4x100) and Coward (Discus, Hammer) qualified for the NCAA West Prelims, along with teammates Hope Bushnell (4x100), Julia Sambvani (4x100), Mikayla Scott (4x100), Asa Allen (110H) and Brandon Lucas (200m). William-Mensah and Coward were also Big West champions in the 100m and discus, respectively.

In 2017, Perkins guided Lloyd Sicard (110H) and Isaiah Jewett (800m) to second-team All-America honors as they both finished among the top-16 in their respective events at the NCAA Championships.

It was no surprise that Sicard, who was tabbed the 2016 Big West Track Athlete of the Year and broke the 110H school record, qualified for nationals as it was his third trip to Eugene, but Jewett had some of UC Irvine’s more unexpected performances in 2017. Jewett was in his first year focusing on the 800m and had run 1:54.38 in his only collegiate race at that distance as a freshman. Under the tutelage of Perkins, Jewett improved his lifetime best to 1:47.43, which ranks second in program history. He ended up running four sub-1:49 races, while winning the Big West 800m title and advancing to the NCAA Championships. Both Sicard and Jewett went on to compete at the USA Track & Field Championships. Perkins had a total of nine student-athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries, while 13 ‘Eaters combined for 21 All-Big West honors. Sicard (110H, 4x400), Jewett (800m, 4x400), Brandon Howard (4x400), Paul Resong (4x400) and Megan George (100H) all claimed individual titles. It was the third-straight conference championship for both Sicard and George in the hurdles.

On the women's side, there were also three outdoor and five indoor school records broken in 2017. Persis William-Mensah eclipsed her own records in the indoor 60m (7.43) and 200m (24.38), as well as the outdoor 100m (11.57). Crystal Lizaola topped the indoor charts in the 600m (1:33.93) and 800m (2:12.93), while combining with Saniya Syed, Megan George and Simone Buchanan to run the fastest outdoor 4x400 relay in program history at 3:42.57. George added an indoor-best 8.44 in the 60m hurdles. Barbara Coward accounted for the final outdoor record in the discus as she bettered the previous standard by over 10 feet with a toss of 180-08.

In 2016, Perkins saw 10 of his student-athletes advance to the NCAA West Regional meet with Sicard qualifying for nationals and receiving honorable mention All-America distinction. Sicard (110H) and George (100H) defended their Big West titles, while George also joined forces with Taisyn Crutchfield, Michelle Norman and Persis William-Mensah to win the 4x100 in a school-record 44.51. It was the second-fastest time in meet history and marked the Anteaters’ first victory in that event since 1992. During the regular season, George added a program-best 13.28 in the 100m hurdles.

In Perkins’ first two years as head coach, the 'Eaters notched 13 NCAA West Regional qualifying marks and secured six Big West individual titles.

Outside of UC Irvine, Perkins coached both Danny McFarlane and Josef Robertson from Jamaica in the 400-meter hurdles.McFarlane won the 400H at the 2008 Jamaica Olympic Trials to advance to the Beijing Olympics.He was a silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games, placed fifth at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan, and came in sixth at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Robertson was a 2009 World Championship qualifier and semi-finalist in the 2011 World Championships.

Perkins joined the Anteaters' staff from the University of Oklahoma, where he served two years as an assistant for the men's program, coaching the sprints, hurdles and relays.In his first season with the Sooners, he led Ronnie Pines to the third-fastest 60m time in the nation at 6.60 seconds. Perkins also had three 110m hurdlers compete in the Big 12 Conference final, placing second, third and eighth. Perkins' student-athletes scored a combined 34 points at the Big 12 Championship, helping the Sooners finish fifth after a 10th-place showing the previous year.

In 2006-07 at Oklahoma, Marcus Pugh won the 60m in 6.67 seconds at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. The Sooners went on to win the Big 12 outdoor title as well as the Midwest Regional Championship.Oklahoma's 4x100 relay also finished fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after winning conference and regional titles.

While at Oklahoma, Perkins coached 12 NCAA-regional qualifiers and six NCAA qualifiers.

Perkins served from 2002-05 at fellow Big West member Cal State Northridge, where he coached the men's and women's sprints, hurdles and relays.In his first season at CSUN, he guided four individuals,as well as the men's 4x100 and 4x400 relays, to conference titles. He had five individuals and three relays qualify for the NCAA West Regional, and four NCAA outdoor qualifiers in the 400H and 100m.

In 2003-04, the Matadors won the men's and women's Big West titles with four of Perkins' student-athletes taking home individual conference championships. He coached eight individual and three relay NCAA-regional qualifiers, with two of his athletes advancing to the NCAA Championships.

In 2004-05, the Northridge men won their second-straight conference title, while Perkins also mentored the Big West Freshman Female Track Athlete of the Year.

In his three seasons with the Matador staff, Perkins coached a total of 12 conference champions, 19 NCAA-regional qualifiers and six NCAA qualifiers.

Perkins began his career at the University of Tennessee, where he was a manager and volunteer coach under the tutelage of Vince Anderson. Perkins helped coach then-NCAA 100m/200m champion, future Olympian and world-record holder Justin Gatlin, and future 60-meter indoor world champion Leonard Scott on their way to the 2001 SEC Championship and NCAA Outdoor Championship. Tennessee won the 2002 SEC title and the NCAA Indoor Championship during Perkins' tenure.

Jeff Perkins' Head Coaching Ledger - Women's Cross Country

YearSchoolBig West FinishNCAA West Regional Finish
2023UC Irvine5th (110)19th (546)
2022UC Irvine2nd (64)14th (398)
2021UC Irvine4th (100)16th (450)
2020*UC Irvinen/an/a
2019UC Irvine5th (140)27th (805)
2018UC Irvine5th (147)25th (731)
2017UC Irvine8th (221)32nd (925)
2016UC Irvine7th (197)30th (831)
2015UC Irvine9th (225)35th (1041)
2014UC Irvine8th (194)32nd (894)

* Season canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Jeff Perkins - Women's Cross Country Coach (2024)
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