Vicki Mitchell is her 19th year with the UB program and serves as the director and head coach of the men's and women's cross country and track & field programs. Mitchell directs and supervises all components of the cross country and track & field programs.
Mitchell has led the track & field/cross country programs to new heights during her tenure. In the 2016-2017 season, the Men’s and women’s teams earned their highest ranking in the NCAA Northeast Region with both teams being ranked second. The men’s Track & Field had their highest placing in both the Indoor and Outdoor MAC Track & Field Championships. The men’s Cross Country program was ranked 8th in the Northeast, while the women were ranked 12th.
Twenty of UB's 21 All-Americans have been crowned during Mitchell's time as head coach, including UB's first NCAA Division I national champion in any sport, 2015 graduate Jonathan Jones. Jones won the 2015 outdoor men's shot put with a school-record heave of 20.78 meters in Eugene. Nearly every school record has been broken or matched under her tenure.
Mitchell primarily works with the women’s middle and distance runners. Under Mitchell's tutelage, middle-distance standout Allison Laske competed in the 800 run at the NCAA Outdoor National Championship and went on to race at the 2004 US Olympic Trials. Middle distance runners have continued to shine, with 2014 graduate Meghan Manley winning 3 MAC 800m titles and earning a trip to the NCAA East Preliminaries. In 2016, the women’s cross country team earned their second highest team placing at the MAC Championships and the NCAA Northeast Regional, and freshmen Stephanie Ward earned MAC Freshman of the Year honors and All-Northeast Regional Honors. In the outdoor track & field season, Freshman Sylvia Russell smashed the school record in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase, earning a bid to the NCAA East Preliminary Round as well as the Canadian Junior Championships.
The Men’s and Women’s Teams have also excelled in the classroom with the Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country Teams earning USTFCCCA All-Academic team honors every semester for the last eight years. The men’s team has risen as well, with the Men’s Track & Field Team and Cross Country teams earning USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors in 2016. Several individuals have earn Individual Academic Honors, including the 2016-2017 group of Mikayla Pearce, Selina Von Jackowski, Ryan Cribbin, Brian Crimmins, and Barrett Kemp. The program boasts several winners of the prestigious Furnas Award, including 2017 graduate Barrett Kemp, 2016 graduate Austin Price, 2012 graduate Shant’e White, Mary Veith (’09), Tina Villa (’08), Faith Thompson (‘05’)
Prior to arriving at UB in 1999, Mitchell served as the assistant cross country and track & field coach at William Jewell College in Kansas City, Missouri. Mitchell also spent five years at Holy Angels Academy in Buffalo where she taught physical education and was the head cross country and track & field coach. A native of Western New York, she is a 1987 graduate of Amherst Central School.
A distinguished athlete and international competitor, Mitchell competed in the 1996 US Olympic Trials in the 10,000 run. She made her marathon debut at the 1999 Hong Kong Marathon, where she qualified for the 2000 US Olympic Marathon Trials. In 2001, she was invited to join the Fila Discovery USA training program, a program designed to develop American distance runners into elite marathon athletes able to compete with the best in the world. She has been a member of five USA national teams, including the 1993 World University Games and 1998 IAAF World Road Race Championship in Manaus, Brazil.
At the 2017 USTFCCCA Convention, Mitchell was elevate to the President of the NCAA Division I Cross Country President. Prior to becoming President, Mitchell served as 1st Vice President, 2015 to 2017, 2nd Vice President from 2013 to 2015, and as the Women’s Regional Representative for the Northeast Region from 2010 to 13. Mitchell was also the Chair of NCAA Division I Cross Country Polls Committee from 2015 to 2017 and Chair of the NCAA Division I Cross Country Awards Committee from 2013 to 2015. She also serves on the Mid-American Conference T&F/XC Executive Committee. Mitchell worked to bring the NCAA Northeast Cross Country Regional Qualifying meet to Buffalo for a three year stint: 2017, 2018, 2019, with goals of making Buffalo the Cross Country mecca of the Northeast.
Mitchell is active in the local running community. She was an instrumental committee member in establishing the Buffalo Chapter of Girls on the Run and is the 5k Race Director. GOTR, a national program for pre-teen girls that focuses on developing self-esteem, self-respect and healthy living through fitness and running, has the largest 5k in the Western New York area with over 3000 participants. She is the coach of Checkers Running Club, WNY’s largest running club.
A sought after speaker, Mitchell frequently is invited to speak at coaching clinics and camps around the country. She has been a presenter at the Illinois State Track Clinic, The Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Clinic, and the US All-Star Track & Field Clinic, and regularly presents at the Aim High Running Camp.
Mitchell received her B.S.E. in physical education from SUNY Cortland in 1991 and a master's in exercise physiology from North Carolina-Greensboro in 1994. While at Cortland, Mitchell was a seven-time NCAA champion and 10-time All-American in leading the Red Dragons to NCAA Division III national championships in cross country and track & field. In 2003, she was named Cortland's Western New York Alum of the Year, and in 2004 she was inducted to the Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame. In 2010, she was named to the Division III Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame and was a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame class of 2014 and the Western New York Running Hall of Fame.