New Coaches Bring Championship Experience To Ole Miss
Erin Dawson is in her second season as an assistant coach for the Ole Miss track & field and cross country programs.
Dawson works primarily with the women's distance runners, who have shown much improvement under her tutelage. She also assists with recruiting.
In her first season with the Rebels, Dawson helped guide the Ole Miss women to a fourth-place showing at the 2012 SEC Cross Country Championships, the best SEC team finish in school history. Senior Katie Breathitt captured the best SEC finish by a Rebel female in school history with a ninth-place result, and she also became the first female in school history to earn a berth in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
On the track, Dawson helped guide the Rebel women to six new school records in 2013 - the indoor mile (Haley Cutright, 4:50.47), 3,000 meters (Cutright, 9:36.37) and distance medley relay (11:30.13) and the outdoor 5,000 (Kayleigh Skinner, 16:39.63), 10,000 (Skinner, 34:59.20) and 3,000 steeplechase (Cutright, 10:21.60).
Dawson arrived in Oxford after a five-year stint at Arizona, where she coached the men's and women's distance runners and assisted with recruiting. During her time there, she helped guide Wildcat runners to NCAA titles and numerous All-America accolades.
In the 2011-12 season, Dawson helped mentor Lawi Lalang to an NCAA Cross Country Championship, as well as a pair of NCAA Indoor titles in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. He was named the USTFCCCA Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year and the Men's Indoor Athlete of the Year. Lalang and his teammate, Stephen Sambu, produced numerous Pac-12 titles and All-America honors during the season.
The Arizona men's team finished third at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, its highest finish in school history. The women's cross country team placed 19th at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
In the women's 10,000 meters, Elvin Kibet took seventh place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with the second-best time in UA history. Kibet also placed 11th in the 5,000 meters. Jen Bergman placed 12th in the 10,000, good for second-team All-America honors. Bergman finished the year as an All-Pac-12 runner in the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters.
On the track in 2011, the middle distance and distance runners won three Pac-10 Outdoor titles, two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Indoor titles, earned 10 All-America accolades and collected 12 All-Pac-10 honors. Top performances included a bronze finish in the 10,000 meters by Bergman at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and a 1-2 sweep by Lalang and Sambu in the 5,000 meters at the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships. Maggie Callahan won the Pac-10 Outdoor title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and Hannah Moen set a school record in the event at the NCAA Prelims with her time of 10:10.61.
Sambu was named the Pac-10 Men's Newcomer of the Year for his bronze finish at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor 10,000 meters and a win in the same race at the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships. On the season, he collected two All-America honors and two All-Pac-10 certificates. He also set school records in the 5,000 meters indoors (13:28.48) and the 10,000 meters outdoors (27:28.64).
In 2010, Sambu was a cross country All-American, the NCAA West Region runner-up and earned a fifth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. For his efforts, he was named the 2010 Pac-10 Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.
Dawson helped lead the women's cross country team to their first NCAA Championship appearance in eight years during the 2009 campaign and an 11th-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The squad earned a runner-up finish at the Pac-10 Championships with four runners earning All-Pac-10 accolades.
Dawson was an assistant coach for two years at Northern Arizona University prior to her move to Tucson.
In her final season with the Lumberjacks in 2006-07, Dawson played an integral part in coaching the men's team to a fourth-place finish and the women's team to a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. This marked the first time NAU posted two top-eight team finishes in the school history.
In her time at NAU, Lopez Lomong won two NCAA titles in the indoor 3,000 meters and the outdoor 1,500 meters.
Dawson assisted the NAU women to win both the indoor and outdoor Big Sky Conference championships in 2006. Johanna Nilsson claimed NCAA Championship titles in the indoor mile and 3,000 meters, en route to being named the NCAA Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Prior to her stint at NAU, Dawson taught ESL and Spanish at Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas. She worked as the head cross country and track and field coach where she produced the first 5A regional qualifying team in cross country for the school.
As a student-athlete, Dawson helped guide the Texas Longhorns to the 2003 NCAA Cross Country Championships. That same season, her team delivered a first-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships - the first in 15 years at Texas. On the track, Dawson contributed conference efforts in the mile, 3,000 meters and steeplechase. She was a member of the 2004 Big 12 Outdoor Championship team.
While at Texas, Dawson was named to the 2003 and 2004 Academic All-Big 12 teams. She has continued to run marathons after college, competing in the Compaq Houston Marathon, Freescale Austin Marathon and the P.F. Chang's Phoenix Marathon.
A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Dawson is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas. After earning bachelor's degrees in Spanish and history, she returned to earn a post baccalaureate degree in secondary education. She received her master's degree in educational psychology with an emphasis in school counseling while at NAU.
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