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Paul Harkins Joins Yale Staff as Men’s Cross Country, Middle Distance and Distance Coach

Paul Harkins. (photo courtesy New Mexico State)
Paul Harkins. (photo courtesy New Mexico State)

Led New Mexico State Program to New Heights Before Joining Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Paul Harkins, who has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at New Mexico State, has been named men's cross country, middle distance and distance coach at Yale. David Shoehalter, Yale's Mark T. Young '68 Director of Cross Country and Track and Field, made the announcement Monday.

Harkins helped the New Mexico State women's cross country team to the first WAC championship in school history in 2009, just two years after he took over a team that had finished seventh in 2006. He was also a part of the men's cross country team's highest finish in school history -- second place in 2010. The men were coming off a seventh-place finish when Harkins arrived in Las Cruces in 2007. He worked at Brown prior to that.

"After an extensive national search it was clear who our top candidate was," said Shoehalter. "Paul's experience with turning around the program at New Mexico State along with his time working in the Ivy League made him the best possible choice for our program.  He's going to hit the ground running, since the cross country season begins in just a couple of weeks!"

Harkins was named the WAC Conference Women's Coach of the Year in 2009 after leading the Aggies to the league title. That same season he coached the WAC Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year. In 2009 and 2010 he coached the WAC Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year. All told, Harkins coached five individual WAC champions and 53 all-conference honorees, including the Aggies' first male cross country runner to earn back-to-back all-conference honors since 1971-72. His runners set nine school records and made 60 additions to the school's top 10 list.

Harkins' teams also achieved success in the classroom, as both the men and the women were recognized as USTFCCCA All-Academic teams in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to joining the New Mexico State staff, Harkins spent a season as an assistant at Brown and two seasons as an assistant at Missouri State. He coached at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Wash., from 2001 to 2004.

Harkins received a B.A. in economics from the University of Washington, where he ran cross country and track, in 2000. He also has a Master's of Science in health promotion and wellness management from Missouri State.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity