A National Record-Holder Will Assist Cross Country

A conference champion in cross country, an All-American in the steeplechase, and a national record-holder in her native country of Zimbabwe, Letiwe Patton is joining the San Jose State University men's and women's cross country program as an assistant coach. Head coach Ron Davis made the announcement.

"Her successes as an All-American and international runner, as well as her six years of college coaching experience will be a huge asset to our program at San Jose State," says Davis. "I'm very impressed with Letiwe's leadership abilities. I had seen her coach at races in the past and now I'm excited to have her as part of our program."

Patton participated in cross country and track at the University of Idaho. She was the Big West Conference women's cross country champion and Athlete of the Year in 2002. In track, she was an All-American in the 3,000 meter steeplechase placing fourth at the 2003 NCAA Championships.

A member of the Zimbabwe National Track Team beginning in 1994, she holds Zimbabwe's national record for fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase at 9:52.98.  She was an International Association of Athletics Federations world cross country championship participant from 1994-96 and an All-Africa Games participant in 1995.

Currently Patton is a committee member of the Zimbabwe Athletic Association responsible for selecting top athletes to represent the nation in international competition.

Her coaching career began as a graduate assistant track and cross country coach for the University of Idaho from 2005-07. During that time Idaho won two women's cross country Western Athletic Conference Championships (2005, 2007) and had two Individual WAC champions (2005, 2006).

Patton comes to San Jose State after coaching two seasons of cross country and track at Seattle Pacific University. She spent the 2011 season as the assistant coach after serving as interim head coach for the men's and women's cross country and track teams in 2010.

In 2010 Patton served as the interim head coach of cross country and track at Seattle University. She spent one year as head coach and remained with the University as an assistant until February of 2012.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for me," says Patton. "There are a lot of challenges ahead, but they are good challenges. I'm looking forward to the addition of the women's track and field program here. We want to recreate the legacy that San Jose State running once had."

Patton graduated from Idaho with bachelor's degree in business in 2004. In 2007, she earned her master's degree from Idaho in science recreation.

The San Jose State men's and women's cross country teams have their first race of the season on September 1 at the Battle of the Bay in Crystal Springs, Calif.