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D. Elton Cochran-Fikes
Position: Assistant AD, Compliance

D. Elton Cochran-Fikes C’74 has been with the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics since 1986, and has been the department’s compliance officer since 1998. In this position, he has responsibility for orchestrating DRIA's compliance with rules and regulations governing intercollegiate athletics, principally rules and/or policies and procedures established by the University of Pennsylvania, the Council of Ivy Group Presidents (Ivy League), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). As such, a primary function of his position is to devise systems for rules compliance and rules education.

Cochran-Fikes was an Associate Director of Athletics from 1986-98. In that position, his primary duties included the overall administration of 17 intercollegiate sport programs, the monitoring of the academic and athletic eligibility status of nearly 1,100 students participating in 33 sport programs and the coordination of department's compliance efforts with the Ivy League and NCAA.

Prior to his arrival back at his alma mater, Cochran-Fikes worked as an Assistant Director of Athletics at Harvard from 1982-86 serving as administrative liaison for 13 sport programs with responsibilities for program evaluation, budget assessment, policy determination, student eligibility counseling, and appraisal of coach/student needs. Cochran-Fikes began his tenure at Harvard by spending a year as an Assistant to the Director of Operations.

Cochran-Fikes was also Head Women's Cross Country Coach and Assistant Men and Women's Track Coach for the Crimson for two years. In cross country, Harvard won two Heptagonal/Ivy titles and had two women’s cross country All-Americans and seven All-Ivy recipients during his tenure, and Cochran-Fikes was named the New England NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year in 1983. On the track, Harvard won two Heps and Ivy titles, boasted three All-Americans and had 17 All-Ivy recipients including 10 Heptagonal champions.

Cochran-Fikes also served with the United States Marine Corps from 1974-77, earning an honorable discharge with the rank of First Lieutenant. As part of his military duties, he was Assistant Coach of the Marine Corps Track and Field Team and an Assistant Athletic Officer, MCDEC, Quantico, VA.

A dual major in political science and religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Cochran-Fikes also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Penn’s prestigious Wharton School with a concentration of Management Policy and Planning.

One of the great track & field athletes in Penn’s history, in the spring of 1974, he became the first Penn and Ivy League athlete to break the four-minute mile barrier when he ran a 3:55.0. It was also the best performance by an African-American athlete in the U.S. and was ranked 15th on the all-time world list at the time. Nearly 40 years later, that mark still stands as the Penn record. In all, Cochran-Fikes set more than 25 school records in the middle distance events from 1,000 yards to three miles. He won seven Heptagonal titles and one IC4A title. He was a six-time All-Eastern honoree and a two-time All-American. A two-time member of the United States National Track & Field Team, Cochran-Fikes was inducted in to the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame Class III in 2000.

Elton and his wife Doris live in University City.


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