Day of Distance Biographies 2022

DESMOND DUNHAM is a youth sports expert with over two decades of coaching and teaching experience.  He has successfully coached youth athletes and teams in cross-country, track & field, basketball, soccer, baseball, and flag football.  Most notably, Coach Dunham has had one of the most prolific coaching careers in high school cross-country and track & field.  He is one of the most decorated high school coaches in the country and boasts national All-Americans, national championships, and international titles from the short sprints up to the distance events, including cross-country.

Dunham fell in love with running at an early age and had a notable high school and college career.  After finishing his undergraduate studies at Howard University, Dunham started coaching track & field at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School in Washington, DC.  His passion for coaching propelled him to launch the DC Redwings, a year-round running club for youth runners.  Dunham coached over a hundred All-Americans and numerous national champions during the eight-year span of the club’s existence.  While leading the DC Redwings, Dunham began to coach at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in nearby Greenbelt MD.

During his five-year coaching stint at Roosevelt, Dunham made US history by winning two championships in the same year at the prestigious Penn Relays, beating the dominant Jamaican teams.  As the head coach at Roosevelt, Dunham led his teams to capture nearly twenty national titles (indoor/outdoor track & field) and ten state titles (cross-country, indoor/outdoor track & field). 

After leaving Roosevelt, Dunham was the head cross-country and distance track coach at the University of Maryland from 2009-2013 and coached several NCAA qualifiers.  Knowing his heart belonged in youth sports, Dunham returned to the high school scene in 2012 as a teacher and coach at Wilson High School in Washington, DC.  Once again, Dunham’s leadership resulted in numerous city and state championships in cross-country and track and field.  In 2017 Dunham became the Director and Head Coach of track & field and cross-country at St. John’s College High School.  Since joining the SJC team, he has captured over ten track & field and cross-country championships.

Beyond his remarkable accolades in track and field, Dunham has a wealth of experience coaching and managing youth programs and teams across a variety of sports.  He spent seven years as an athletic director in DC schools, coached little league baseball for eight years, has coached youth basketball for over a decade, provides specialty training for youth all-star baseball athletes, and currently facilitates speed and agility training sessions for a local youth travel soccer team.  Dunham is a highly sought speaker for local and national youth sports conferences and workshops. 

Dunham earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from Howard University and earned a Master of Teaching in Secondary Science Education from Trinity University.  He resides in Northwest DC with his wife (Jami) and two children (Niles and Nia).