Illinois State Director of Athletics Larry Lyons rewarded three head coaches with contract extensions in early November: head baseball coach Steve Holm, head women’s basketball coach Kristen Gillespie and director of track and field/cross country Jeff Bovee. Each contract extension was through 2024.
Holm led the Redbirds to a 36-26 (14-7 MVC) record and helped them earn a share of the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference regular season title in his debut season as head coach. The 36 wins was a 14-win improvement over the previous year and the most for an Illinois State team since the Redbirds won 39 in 2013. It was also the most wins for a first-year Redbird baseball head coach in program history.
Gillespie is in her third season at the helm of the Redbird program and led the squad to a 19-12 record last season. The 19 wins were the most in the last six seasons for the ‘Birds and their 11-7 MVC record was their best since 2012–2013. Under Gillespie’s guidance, Simone Goods and TeTe Maggett earned back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year honors and both were named All-MVC First-Team selections in 2019.
Bovee enters his sixth year as the director of track and field and cross country at Illinois State and his 13th overall at the University. Over the past five years, Bovee has transformed Illinois State into a track powerhouse. This became evident in 2018, when the Redbirds’ swept the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships for the first time since 1999. With the sweep, Bovee not only was named the MVC Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year but garnered the title of USTFCCCA Men’s Head Coach of the Year for the Midwest Region.