VanHootegem (pronounced van-OTT-eh-ghem) will work with the Boilermaker jumpers and multi-event student-athletes and comes to Purdue following six years as the head coach at Oklahoma. In his career, he has helped guide his programs to 12 NCAA team championships and 27 conference team titles. Additionally, VanHootegem produced 72 All-Americans as an event coach before he recorded another 55 honorees as a head coach.
“I am excited to have Coach Jim VanHootegem join our staff,” Elliott said. “I have witnessed Coach VanHootegem’s high-quality work and accomplishments for many years with his jumpers. After long discussions with Jim, I realized that he shared the same mission we have here at Purdue University of developing scholars, citizens and champions. Jim has a reputation of integrity and commitment. His recruiting skills and expert knowledge of the jumps will allow our program and student athletes to continue improving.”
VanHootegem’s coaching accolades include Big 12 Conference Head Coach of the Year, USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year, three USTFCCCA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honors and five Big East Conference Coaching Staff of the Year recognitions.
“When Coach Elliott called me, I knew immediately that this was a good situation,” VanHootegem said. “I have known and respected him since we coached against each other in the SEC in the 1990’s. I feel very confident that I can work well with Coach Elliott and the rest of the staff. I am also very impressed with the obvious support of Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski and Associate Athletics Director Calvin Williams. It takes that to have a great program. Finally, I’m excited to work with an outstanding group of student-athletes. I was raised a Kewanee Boilermaker and I’m now proud to be a Purdue Boilermaker. Boiler up!”
Along with his time at Oklahoma, VanHootegem was an assistant coach at Arkansas, Texas A&M, Miami, Mississippi State, San Diego State, Cal-Irvine and Texas-Pan American, along with head coach at North Park University. He also has been an instructor with the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and USA Track & Field and a national clinician since 2001.
In six seasons as head coach at Oklahoma, VanHootegem guided 83 Sooners to NCAA Championship berths, 62 collected All-America accolades and 28 won individual or relay Big 12 championships. Additionally, 65 student-athletes earned All-Academic honors from the USTFCCCA.
At Texas A&M from 2004-2013, VanHootegem served as an assistant coach as the Aggies won seven NCAA team titles and 14 conference crowns. He coached 22 individual NCAA champions. VanHootegem was named the 2009 Men’s National Assistant Coach of the Year and a 2012 Mondo Regional Assistant Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA.
Additionally, seven of VanHootegem’s Texas A&M student-athletes earned Arthur Ashe Jr. Sport Scholar accolades in recognition of their athletic and academic accomplishments.
VanHootegem was an assistant coach at Miami from 2001-04, where he won five conference titles and was a member of the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year on five separate occasions. Prior to coaching stints at Cal-Irvine in 1998, Mississippi State from 1998-2000 and San Diego State in 2001, VanHootegem helped guide the Texas-Pan American program to a conference title in 1997.
From 1994-97, VanHootegem worked with the Arkansas track & field program. The Razorbacks claimed five NCAA team titles and seven SEC championships with 55 All-Americans and 14 individual national champions during VanHootegem’s tenure.
As a student-athlete at North Central College, VanHootegem helped lead his squad to a pair of NCAA Division III national championships and two third-place finishes. He is a seven-time All-American and was named the team’s most valuable athlete and a team captain.
VanHootegem earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from North Central College. He is a certified strength and conditioning coach by the USTFCCCA Academy and is Level II certified in the USA Track & Field Coaching Education Program.
VanHootegem is married to Carmen Melendez, and they have three children, Tori (married to Matt Carter), Quin and Olivia.