Mississippi State track and field coach Dudley resigns

Staff Writer

Longtime Mississippi State track and field head coach Steve Dudley has resigned from his position the school announced on Thursday.

Dudley, who had served as the head coach of the Bulldogs since 2010, did not disclose a specific reason for his abrupt departure in a school-released statement, other than to say it was because of things of a personal nature.

“I have decided to resign for personal reasons,” Dudley said in the release. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mississippi State. It’s been a great run and I am proud of what we were able to accomplish as a program. It’s been a privilege to coach so many outstanding student-athletes who not only achieved success on the track, but in the classroom and life. I wish the program nothing but the best moving forward.”

With Dudley’s departure, Chris Woods was selected to be Mississippi State’s interim head coach. Woods is a 2008 MSU graduate and has served as the sprinters and relays coach for the Bulldogs since 2013.

He’ll be replacing a fellow Mississippi State alum in the form of Dudley. Dudley was a captain on the MSU track team as a student. He performed from 1991 through 1995. Dudley then returned to his alma mater in 2000 as an assistant coach following a stint at Bevill State (Ala.) Community College. In his first year as a coach at Mississippi State, Dudley had eight athletes earn All-America honors and the success continued from there.

Dudley has coached over 50 athletes to All-American status and has had numerous individuals win national championships. He’s had team success as well, leading the Bulldogs to multiple top 10 finishes.

Now, it’s Woods who’ll take over the reins of the program from Dudley and try to continue MSU’s successful ways.

“We wish Coach Dudley well on his future endeavors and we appreciate all of his service to Mississippi State,” MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said. “Chris Woods will serve as our interim head coach. Chris has head coaching experience and he’s done a tremendous job as an assistant coach on our staff the past five years.”

Woods’ experience includes a stint as the head coach for the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. At MSU, Woods has coached a total of 19 All-Americans. Four of the top five men’s and women’s indoor 4x400 meter relays in MSU history have all occurred under Woods’ tutelage.