Desmond Dunham, who brought tremendous success and national recognition to the nearby Eleanor Roosevelt High School track and field program, begins his fourth year with the Terps and will seek to blend the momentum from an outstanding performance last year by the distance crew with one of the top recruiting classes in recent memory.
During his time with Maryland, Dunham has already made a significant impact. During his first year, as a volunteer in 2008-2009, he coached Kiani Profit, who was on her way to All-America status as a multi-event star.
Dunham coached cross country standout Alex Lundy to the 2009 NCAA Cross Country National Championships, as Lundy made his second straight trip to the nationals as an individual.
His additional coaching highlights during the 2009-2010 seasons include the men's cross country team earning the President's Cup as the team with the highest collective GPA at Maryland.
Distance squads set four school records in track and field a year ago - outdoor: men's 4xMile relay, women's distance medley relay, 4x1500m relay, and indoor - men's distance medley relay). The Terrapin women's team won the team title at the 2009 Great American Invitational, and Dunham coached Greg Kelsey to one of the top times in the nation in the 3,000 steeplechase during the 2010 track season.
"Desmond is one of the top up-and-coming college coaches in track and field and cross country," said head coach Andrew Valmon. "He showed tremendous success at the high-school level and is ready to transform this into the collegiate setting," said Valmon. "He is knowledgeable in multiple disciplines of the sport and has a strong understanding of distance athletes."
Dunham is most noted for making American high school history at the Penn Relays in 2007 and 2008, snagging three relay titles (4x800, 4x400 in 2007 and 4x400 in 2008) and upsetting the highly favored Jamaican teams. He was named the Coach of the Decade by The Gazette (2000-2010), and his history-making 4x800 squad (8:43.1 national record) was named the ESPN/Dyestat Relay of the Decade.
Dunham, who has 13 years of coaching experience, was on the staff at Eleanor Roosevelt HS in Greenbelt from 2003 to 2008. While the head coach there, his teams won the Maryland Class 4A state indoor and outdoor girls championships in 2007 and 2008, and won three girls state cross country titles (2004-05-06). His boys teams won state titles indoors in 2007 and outdoors in 2008.
Many of Roosevelt's relay teams earned national recognition and U.S. national prep records, along with Nike Outdoor Championships and Penn Relays titles.
Dunham is a three-time honoree as the Washington Post All-Met Coach of the Year and was awarded All-Gazette Coach of the Year honors eight times.
His club experience includes work from 1998 to 2003 as head coach of the D.C. Redwings program, where he coached more than 50 All-Americans and individuals to Junior Olympics national competitions in track and cross country.
An experienced sports massage therapist, Dunham holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Howard University, where he was captain of the track and cross country teams as a senior. He also has a master's degree in secondary science education from Trinity University.
Dunham resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife Jami, who is a middle school principal, and their two children Niles and Nia.