Rohe Track Era All About Us!

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE CROSS COUNTRY SEC CHAMPIONS 1963-72

THE CHUCK ROHE ERA (1962-1972)
CROSS COUNTRY

1969 Cross Country
Head Coach: Chuck Rohe
Assistant Coach: Connie Smith
Regular Season Record: 5 Wins, 2 Losses
Callaway Gardens Invitational: Second
NCAA Region Three: Third
SEC: Champions
NCAA: Eighteenth


Ken Rowlett was Captain of the 1969 cross country team for the third year in a row, actually the fourth year in a row because he was also Captain of the 1966 freshman team. Other members of the 1969 cross country team were David Calvert, Dickie Kleier, Pete Matthews, Steve Nelson, Norman Pelletier, Sam Rutherford, Owen Self, David Scire, Bill Villeneuve, Gordon Wilson, and Danny Zoeller.

At some point during the year Coach Bear Bryant of the University of Alabama tried to lure Coach Rohe away from Tennessee. Finally, after discussing the matter with Athletic Director Bob Woodruff and Head Football Coach Doug Dickey, Coach Rohe decided to stay at Tennessee. He did get some additional help for the track program, though, and was able to hire two assistant coaches – Russ Polhemus to help with strength and conditioning training and Connie Smith to help with the distance runners. Consequently,

Coach Rohe turned the cross country team over to Connie Smith in 1969 and 1970 for day-to-day coaching purposes and allowed him to take credit for the results, including an SEC Championship.

During the regular season Tennessee defeated Eastern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, East Tennessee State, and Tennessee Tech but lost to Ohio State and the Air Force Academy. In the larger meets, the Vols finished second at the Callaway Gardens Invitational; third in the NCAA Region Three Meet, first in the SEC Cross Country Championships, and 18th in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.

The 1969 SEC cross country meet was held in Birmingham, Alabama, on a 4.065 mile course.

Tennessee’s top finishers were as follows:

Place Name Time
2
3
6
11
12
19
21
Owen Self
David Scire
Steve Nelson
David Calvert
Dickie Kleier
Bill Villenevue
Ken Rowlett
18:49
18:51
19:24
19:35
19:37
19:52
20:07
The 1969 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships were held in the Bronx in New York City. Tennessee’s runners finished the 6.0 mile race in 18th place and finished as follows:.
Place Name Time
50
124
152
163
169
183
207
Owen Self
Dickie Kleier
Steve Nelson
Ken Rowlett
David Calvert
David Scire
Bill Villenevue
30:48
32:06
32:34
32:45
32:51
33:06
33:30br />
 
 

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