UO track, July 18 Oregon track and field head coach Robert Johnson announced on Monday the hiring of Ben Thomas as associate head coach for cross country and track and field. Thomas, who spent the last 17 seasons as the head cross country and distance coach at Virginia Tech, will coach the middle distance and distance program for the Ducks. Throughout his tenure, Thomas successfully built the Hokies into a consistent contender both in the ACC and on the national stage. The 2018 Southeast Region assistant men’s coach of the year for both indoors and outdoors, Thomas led the Virginia Tech men’s distance medley team to the national indoor title while also coaching three men to the final of the mile. Most recently at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Thomas guided Vincent Ciattei to a runner-up finish in the men’s 1,500 meters and Rachel Pocratsky to a fifth-place showing in the women’s race. Thomas coached Virginia Tech athletes to a total of 74 NCAA all-America honors during his tenure in Blacksburg while leading the cross country and distance program to new heights.