Trevor Dunbar is returning to the Pac-12 Conference.
The former Kodiak High School and University of Oregon standout has been hired by the University of California to be an assistant coach for cross country and track and field distance running.
“I am thrilled to welcome Trevor to the Cal family,” California Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Robyne Johnson said in a Monday press release. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and world-class experience with him to help our young team grow and compete at the highest level. I’m excited to watch him develop, educate and cultivate our student-athletes into leaders.”
After being a volunteer coach at Oregon (2014-16) and at Boston University (2018-19), Dunbar earned his first paid coaching gig in 2019 at Florida State University. He helped the Seminoles return to the NCAA Cross Country Championships. His track and field season was canceled because of the pandemic.
“I am so excited to join coach Johnson’s staff and the Cal track and field family,” Dunbar said in the release. “I’m really looking forward to learning each student-athlete’s story, building positive relationships and helping them grow in this sport. The University of California has such a storied tradition, and I will work to add to its winning culture.”
Dunbar rose to the national spotlight in 2008 while running for Kodiak High when a two-mile time-trial at a snow-covered Joe Floyd Track and Field went viral. He ran 9 minutes, 1 second that day.
He ended his prep carrer as a seven-time state champion and an All-American. He holds the school record in the 1,600-meter run (4 minutes, 5.22 seconds), the 3,200 (8:46.72) and the 5,000 (14:33.96).
Dunbar, a 2008 graduate of KHS, earned a scholarship to the University of Portland and later transferred to Oregon. He combined to grab seven All-American honors and helped lead the Ducks to two track and field championships.
After graduating, Dunbar entered the professional running circuit, representing Nike from 2014 to 2017 and the Boston Athletic Association in 2018.
Dunbar’s best shot at qualifying for the Olympics was in 2012 when he placed 11th in the 5,000-meter finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials. A year later, he became the first Alaskan to post a sub-4-minute mile, a gigantic feat in the running world. He has dipped under that barrier three more times during his decorated career. His fastest mile was a 3:55.54 in 2017.
Dunbar discovered he wanted to pursue coaching when he trained Kodiak’s Levi Thomet and another racer for a junior national race in 2016. That experience taught him the importance of prepping racers for everything, including the competition.
“I was more nervous in that first coaching role for their races than I was ever for any of mine,” Dunbar told the Daily Mirror in July. “It was really cool to be part of something bigger than yourself and seeing some of these other dreams realized.”
Since 2007, the California men’s cross country team has appeared in five NCAA championship meets, with a high placing of 16th in 2007. The women’s program has made four championship meet appearances since 1984.
In outdoor track and field, the men and women both placed ninth in the 2019 Pac-12 Championships.