Oklahoma wanted to bring in someone familiar
with the program when J.D. Martin retired in
1997. That is one of the reasons the administration
brought in former Sooner Jill Lancaster. Lancaster
came back to OU with extensive coaching experience.
She got her first coaching job as an OU assistant
(1983-86) after competing for the Sooners (1978-81).
She coaches the jumpers and combined event
Since arriving at OU prior to the 1997-98 academic year, Lancaster has led two
Sooners to Big 12 titles. Senior Justin Conkling won the Big 12 heptathlon title
in February 2001, the first Sooner man to win a Big 12 combined event title.
In that same meet, senior Janel Hayes, after finishing second the previous year,
won the conference long jump title.
Lancaster celebrated her first Sooner
All-Americans as a coach when Hayes earned the
honor in the long
jump in May 2001 with her 10th-place finish at
the NCAA. One day later, Conkling finished fifth
in the decathlon to earn All-America honors as
Lancaster spent four years at Kansas State before
accepting the job at OU in 1997. While she was
with the Wildcat track program, Lancaster's duties
included overseeing the sprinters, hurdlers and
jumpers. She concentrated her time on the intermediate
hurdlers and the 400- and 800-meter runners. In
addition, Lancaster was in charge of recruiting
and helped bring one of the largest classes in
the school's history to Manhattan. The Wildcats
hosted the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Multi-Event
Championship in 1996 and 1997 and Lancaster served
as meet director for the event.
Before her four-year stint at Kansas State, Lancaster
served as the head women's track coach at Toledo.
While at Toledo, Lancaster was a two-time Mid-American
Conference Coach of the Year, first in 1990 and
again in 1992. She also helped develop long jumper
Candy Campbell, who jumped 21-1.5, to become the
first track and field All-American in Toledo's
history. Lancaster helped guide her athletes to
30 MAC titles, as well as 29 outdoor and 27 indoor
During the 1987-88 track season, Lancaster was
an assistant coach at Kansas. She began her coaching
career as an assistant coach under legendary J.D.
As a student-athlete at OU, Lancaster was a three-time
All-American - in the 600-yard dash, mile and two-mile
relays. She also was a part of the 1980 indoor
mile relay team that still holds the school record
(3:45.2). She also shares the outdoor school record
in the 400-meter hurdles (59.03).
After her collegiate career was completed, she
continued her competitive career and went on to
win the 1988 TAC Indoor National Championship pentathlon.
She also earned a fourth-place finish in the heptathlon
at the TAC Outdoor National Championship during
the same year. Following the TAC championships,
Lancaster had a strong showing at the Olympic Trials,
placeing 14th in the heptathlon. She also was a
part of four national combined event teams. Lancaster
is a member of the Drake Relays Hall of Fame after
winning the Drake Relays heptathlon title five
In 1981, Lancaster earned a bachelor's from OU.
She added a second B.A. in 1983. Lancaster has
been certified by the USA Track and Field Coaches
Association as a Level I (general) and as a Level
II (Endurance and Jumps) coach.
This material obtained from SoonerSports.com