Veteran distance coach Jason Dunn enters his 20th year in the collegiate coaching ranks and his third year as the associate head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at the University of Oklahoma.
Since his hiring in July of 2013, Dunn has reestablished a strong foundation for the University of Oklahoma’s cross country and distance programs. In 2014, the Sooner men finished second at the Big 12 Cross Country Championships, equaling the highest team finish in program history. Sooner Abbabiya Simbassa finished as the Big 12 runner-up, which was the highest OU individual finisher in conference history. The OU women’s cross country team has progressed quickly under Dunn’s leadership as evidenced by its fifth-place finish at the 2014 Big 12 Championships, the highest finish in the program’s history.
Since his arrival, Dunn has coached cross country athletes to eight All-Big 12 honors and five All-NCAA Midwest Regional honors. He also has developed the talent of runner Brandon Doughty, who has earned regional and conference honors in cross country as well as earning consecutive first team All-America awards in track and field. Doughty finished fourth at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase after a fifth-place finish in 2014.
Dunn finished the 2015 outdoor track and field season with 11 NCAA West Preliminary qualifiers after qualifying five athletes in his first year at OU. Of those five in 2014, two, Doughty and Alex Deir, advanced to the NCAA Championships and earned All-America honors in the steeplechase.
In just two years since his arrival in Norman, Dunn’s athletes have won four Big 12 titles in track and field (two in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, one in the indoor 3,000-meter run, and one in the distance medley relay), and earned a total of 53 All-Big 12 honors between indoor and outdoor track.
Academics are a point of emphasis for Dunn as he has had three cross country runners earn All-Academic honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in the last two years. The men’s team earned a team award after the 2013 season then the 2014 women’s team earned the award. In track and field, he has had six athletes earn USTFCCCA All-Academic honors in the last two years.
Dunn came to OU after serving on the staff at the University of Kentucky for the 2012-2013 school year. He served as men's cross country coach and assisted on the track by coaching the middle distance and distance athletes. Dunn has also had successful coaching stints on the staffs at Stanford, Virginia, Arizona State and his alma mater, William & Mary.
During the four years he spent at Stanford, Dunn led one of the nation's top distance programs as head coach for both the men's and women's cross country teams. Under Dunn, the men's cross country team claimed a No. 1 national ranking for much of the 2009 and 2010 seasons, taking home the Pac-12 team championships in each of those seasons. In 2010, his women's team also won the team title, giving the Cardinal a sweep for the first time since 2005. While at Stanford, he coached six sub-four minute milers and coached NCAA scorers at every event from 1500M though 10,000M.
The Stanford cross country teams claimed five top-10 finishes under Dunn, and he was twice named the Pac-12 men's cross country coach of the year. He was also named a USTFCCCA coach of the year on seven occasions (two cross country, three indoor track, two outdoor track). In the 2010 indoor and outdoor track seasons, 10 student-athletes earned All-America honors.
Dunn coached 16 student-athletes to 59 individual All-America honors, including an NCAA champion, four NCAA runners-up and seven third-place finishers. With Dunn as his coach, Chris Derrick earned 14 All-America honors, set the American collegiate record in the 10K (27:31.38) and finished fourth at the 2012 Olympic Trials. Other accomplishments achieved by Dunn-coached Stanford student-athletes include two American junior records, five school records and six Pac-12 individual champions.
While at Virginia, Dunn coached four men's and four women's teams to the NCAA Cross Country Championships and led the men's squads to Atlantic Coast Conference titles in 2005 and 2007. Both the men's and women's teams qualified for the national meet in 2005, marking the first time in school history both advanced in the same season. Dunn was named the ACC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2007.
A total of 17 of Dunn's cross country runners earned 28 All-ACC honors during his time with the program, and eight runners earned nine individual ACC Championships under his direction. Seven Cavaliers earned conference honors in 2005 as the men's team won the conference title for the first time since 1984. Additionally, Dunn led 23 runners to 40 all-region honors and five to All-America status.
As an assistant in the track and field program, Dunn coached six All-Americans and saw the distance runners record 18 NCAA qualifying times and set three school records.
Academics also reflected success while Dunn was at Virginia as both the men's and women's cross country programs were named All-Academic teams for five years in a row. On 22 occasions, Dunn's student-athletes earned All-Academic status in both cross country and track and field.
At Arizona State, Dunn served as a graduate assistant and helped transform the cross country program, which went from having never qualified for the NCAA Championships to finishing 14th (men's) and 12th (women's) in 1999.
Dunn began his coaching career in 1996 as the assistant cross country coach at his alma mater, William & Mary, sharing duties in an interim volunteer position for a team that ranked in the top 20 nationally and won a Colonial Athletic Conference title.
While at William & Mary as a student-athlete, Dunn served as team captain and was part of two cross country teams that made NCAA appearances. He earned all-conference honors in cross country and in track where he won the 1996 CAA conference championship in the steeplechase. Dunn received All-East honors in the event and later qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championships and Olympic Trials.
Dunn graduated in 1996 from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in government. He later received his master's degree in curriculum and instruction with a physical education emphasis from Arizona State in 1999.
In December of 2014, Dunn married the former Ann Detmer, who currently serves on the Sooner track and cross country staff as a volunteer assistant coach.