Illinois hires former Georgia coach Petros Kyprianou as director of track & field and cross country programs


Photo courtesy of @petrosdeca Twitter

Petros Kyprianou, new Illinois track and field and cross country director, stands alongside trophies won during his time as the Georgia head coach. Kyprianou spent 13 years working with Georgia.

By James Kim, Assistant Sports Editor

Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman announced the appointment of Petros Kyprianou as the new director of the Illinois track and field and cross country programs on Tuesday. The former Georgia coach will be placed in charge of both programs on a five-year contract following the firing of longtime director Mike Turk earlier this month.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Kyprianou to the Fighting Illini family,” Whitman said in a press release announcing the appointment. “During his time at Georgia, Petros proved himself as a program-builder and spearheaded a tremendous six-year run that featured two national championships and numerous podium finishes — results their program had never before experienced.”

Kyprianou, formerly a head coach of track and field and cross country at Georgia, is no stranger to success and is coming to Illinois with an impressive resume.

During his 13-year tenure with the Bulldogs, Kyprianou was a two-time NCAA Champion, a three-time USA Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Coach of the Year and coached 28 athletes to becoming NCAA Champions. Now, Kyprianou will be bringing his experience and expertise to two hungry Illini programs that are searching for the type of achievement that Kyprianou has enjoyed.

“I am thrilled for this opportunity,” Kyprianou told Illini Athletics. “As I feel the University of Illinois track and field and cross country program is a sleeping giant in a conference that is changing for the betterment of all sports.”

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Kyprianou’s role in revamping the track and field and cross country programs at Georgia has seen him recognized not only as an elite coach, but also an effective program-builder. He will be taking the role of director of track and field and cross country that was formerly held by Mike Turk. Turk was recently dismissed after an 11-year tenure at Illinois that saw limited success in recent times. The Illini’s appointment of Kyprianou comes as a clear sign of intent to opposition.

“It will be a long, hard road,” said Kyprianou. “But I am excited for the future.”



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