Purdue's 1999 was a season that saw Head Coach Ben Paolillo establish himself as one of the elite coaches in the Big Ten Conference, as well as the nation. He demonstrated his teaching and leadership abilities, guiding the indoor team to a second place conference finish and the outdoor squad to it's second Big Ten title. With the addition of five All-Americans in 1999, he added to his already impressive list of athletes to garner such honors under his leadership. Paolillo was rewarded for his efforts during the past year being voted Indoor and Outdoor Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year, as well as the Great Lakes Region Coach-of-the-Year.
Entering his seventh year at the helm of the Boilermaker program, Paolillo's resume includes over 19 years of NCAA and international experience as both a national-class athlete and coach. Paolillo begins his 16th season overall as a member of the Purdue coaching staff. He came to Purdue in 1984 to study under legendary coach Fred Wilt.
Paolillo was named interim head coach in January of 1993 and served in that capacity until July of '93 when he was named head coach. He is Purdue's fifth women's track and field coach.
Paolillo's 1999 teams set school records for most points scored at the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships, 109 and 143, respectively. The five All-Americans were the most since 1988 and Toyinda Smith's national championship was the second since 1996.
That year Paolillo coached Corissa Yasen to the NCAA heptathlon title and All-America honors in the high jump at both the indoor and outdoor championships. Yasen also won both Big Ten high jump titles, while winning the pentathlon, as well. In addition, he guided Jamie McNeair and Yasen at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where they finished fifth and eighth in the heptathlon, respectively.
Paolillo helped lead Purdue to its first-ever women's track and field conference title at the 1987 Big Ten Outdoor Championships.
In 1987, 1994 and 1999 he served as co-director for the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships and co-directed both the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic National Cross Country Championships (1989) and the NCAA District IV Cross Country Championships in 1990, 1994, and 1995. He has been a member of the U.S. Olympic Development heptathlon staff since 1987.
Paolillo's coaching experience began as a graduate assistant coach for both the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs at the University of Wyoming. He spent the 1982-83 season in Laramie coaching six athletes to All-America status, working primarily with the middle distance and distance runners.
His next coaching position was as the assistant boy's track coach at his alma mater, Elkhart Central High School, in 1984 where the team won its first-ever regional title.
Paolillo is currently the president and director of the Purdue Area Track Club, of which he has increased the membership nearly three-fold since 1987.
Paolillo has also served as the director of the track and field events for the Senior Games of Indiana and the Lafayette Regional of the White River Park State Games.
He has shared his expertise in track and field on an international scale with written contributions published by both Modern Athlete and Coach and Athletics Coach, as well as instructing certification clinics for Level I track and field coaches.
Paolillo graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in business education. He received his master's degree in educational administration in 1985, also from Wyoming. Paolillo graduated from the British AAA summer school of advanced coaching technique at Loughborough University (England) in 1988 and is USA Track & Field Level I and II (endurance and jumps) certified.
A native of Elkhart, Ind., Paolillo graduated from Elkhart Central High School where he was an all-state cross country performer. As a collegiate athlete, Paolillo garnered All-America status in the steeplechase in 1981. He served as the cross country team's captain during his junior and senior years and the track and field team's captain in his final season of collegiate participation. Paolillo was a member of the 1977 Wyoming team that captured third place at the NCAA Championships.
He is married to former Purdue track & field All-American and two-time cross country MVP Andrea Everett. They have a daughter, Maria (7).