Ley Fletcher is in his fifth year as the Head Track and Field Coach at Lees-McRae.
In his second season, Fletcher continued to build upon the Bobcats’ success from the previous year, guiding the Lees-McRae men’s team to its second straight Conference Carolinas Championship and the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II Southeast Region Outdoor Championship. For his efforts, Fletcher was named the conference and region coach of the year for the second straight season.
Fletcher’s indoor teams posted a tremendous 2010 season, as the men’s and women’s squad finished the campaign ranked first and second in the region, respectively. The men’s team also boasted one national qualifier as Fletcher was named the 2010 Southeast Region Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.
The 2010 men’s team also boasted one All-American and one national qualifier as the Bobcats finished 64th at the national championship meet in Charlotte, N.C. Fletcher’s women’s team also had a successful season, finishing third in the conference and winning the Southeast Region Championship, earning Fletcher Women’s Southeast Region Coach of the Year honors.
Fletcher took the Bobcats to new heights in his first season, leading the men’s team to the Conference Carolinas Championship while garnering conference and NCAA Division II Southeast Region Coach of the Year honors. His women’s team also finished third at the Conference Carolinas Championship Meet, and went on to place second at the NCAA Southeast Regional.
Prior to his arrival in Banner Elk, Fletcher spent seven years at the helm of the cross country programs at conference foe Coker College. During his time at Coker, Fletcher led the Cobra men and women to the top in both Conference Carolinas and in the Southeast Region. As recently as 2006, Fletcher led the Cobra men to a third place finish in the conference and a fifth place showing in the region, while the women finished as high as fourth in the conference and sixth in the region.
Fletcher’s commitment to academics is impressive as well with eight Academic All-Americans during his time at Coker, two All-Region selections and numerous All-Conference members.
Before arriving at Coker, Fletcher spent three years at Meridian Community College as the Head Track and Field Coach. In the spring of 2001, his men’s track team finished 21st in the country, placing four student-athletes on the NJCAA All-America Teams. The Meridian women posted an impressive season in 2000 under Fletcher’s direction, finishing 16th in the outdoor championships.
In 1999, the Meridian men’s track team finished fourth in the country at the indoor championships and ninth at the outdoor championships. During the 1999 season, Fletcher had the privilege of coaching nationally ranked long jumper Miguel Pate, who went on to represent the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Fletcher attended the University of Mississippi before graduating from Athens State College with a degree in Physical Education. He is a USA Track and Field Level I and II Track and Field certified coach.
Johnston enters his second season as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track and field coach in 2017-18. Johnston comes to Banner Elk after serving as an assistant coach for East Tennessee State (ETSU).
Johnston came to ETSU having spent the last 40 years coaching track & field internationally as well as at several NCAA institutions. He is most noted for the creation of the "Six-Stride Mark Chart", which deals with the approach run speeds in long jump and pole vault, as well as stride lengths and performance success. With extensive knowledge and experience in Approach Run velocities and accuracies, DJ is a clinician at camps and clinics worldwide. His presentations include the "Physics of Speed" and technical models in the triple jump, pole vault ("19+Plus"), hurdles, high jump ("The Natural High Jump") and 4x100m Relay ("The Timed Method of Establishing a "Go" Mark" and "Fundamentals of the 4x100 Relay Overhand Baton Pass")
Johnston has passionately dedicated over 40 years of his life to coaching. He has coached track and field at the international, Olympic, university, national and high school levels, producing champions at all levels and in numerous events. His former pupils include 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the pole vault, Mike Tully; previous world recrod holder in the javelin throw, Roald Bradstock; University of Florida Hall of Famer, winter and summer Olympian, Liston Bochette; SEC champion and All-American in the pole vault, Will Freeman; Bahamian Olympian and Florida SEC long jump and triple jump champion, Michael Sharpe; and Canadian pole vault record holder and Olympian Bruce Simpson.
In the early stages of his coaching career as an assistant at Florida, DJ worked with and was mentored by former UF Head Track Coach, 1980 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Coach, and USATFCCCA Hall of Fame Coach, Jimmy Carnes. DJ has also had the honor of coaching with Guy Kochel and Bill Webb. Kochel is a USATFCCCA Hall of Fame Coach, former USA pole vault coordinator and former ASU head coach. Webb is the former head coach at Cal State Northridge, former University of Tennessee head coach, 2003 U.S. Olympic Committee National Track and Field Coach of the Year, and a recent USATFCCCA Hall of Fame Coach inductee.
As an athlete at the University of Central Arkansas, Johnston was a three-time colligate All-American in track and field and an NAIA National Indoor Champion in the long jump. He is a member of the UCA Bears, Conway Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame for football and track. In track and field, he held eight school records, four AIC Conference records, and was High Point Performer his sophomore, junior and senior years. His record performances included conference championships in the 110m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, 4x100m relay, 4x200m relay and 4x400m relay. DJ's long jump record held for 10 years, while his triple jump record remained on the books for 38 years before finally being broken in 2007. In addition his collegiate performances for UCA, DJ held the state triple jump record. All of these accomplishments led to his induction into the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame for his performances as an athlete and as a coach of world class stature.
Johnston earned his master's degree from the University of Central Arkansas.