GAMBIER, Ohio – J.J. Hunter, a former assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania, was hired as head coach of both the men’s and women’s track and field programs at Kenyon College.
The announcement, made Monday, came from Jill McCartney, Kenyon’s Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation.
“I want to thank Jill McCartney, Justin Newell and the search committee for the opportunity to lead the Kenyon track and field programs,” Hunter said. “Throughout the interview process, it became clear to me how unique and special this community truly is. I am very excited to get started building a national-caliber team of thriving scholar-athletes at Kenyon.”
Newell, Kenyon’s Assistant Director of Athletics for NCAA Compliance and Facility Operations, headed the search committee that tabbed Hunter.
“As a committee, we are excited to welcome J.J. to Gambier and Kenyon Athletics. He’s not only a great fit to lead our programs, but he’s going to be a great resource for the campus as a whole,” Newell said. “He is coming to us from Penn, where the balance of academic rigor and athletic excellence is emphasized.”
Hunter spent the previous four seasons at Penn, where his coaching focus was on sprints, hurdles, horizontal jumps and multi-events. During that time, he aided in the development of nine Ivy League sprint/hurdle champions, eight NCAA regional qualifiers, three Penn record holders and eight Academic All-Americans. He secured commitments from nine top-30 high school athletes and coached 19 All-Ivy League performers. At the conclusion of the 2019 indoor season, Hunter was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Mid-Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Back in 2001, Hunter’s track and field coaching career began at The College of New Jersey, an NCAA Division III institution, where he was an assistant for two seasons. After that, he made the leap to NCAA Division I, honing his skills as an assistant men’s and women’s coach at the University of Miami for three seasons and at Florida International University for one season.
During that six-year span of employment across those three institutions, Hunter helped guide 10 student-athletes to NCAA national qualifying marks, 24 All-America honors and 11 school records. At The College of New Jersey alone, he had 79 All-New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) honorees and 23 conference champions.
A graduate of La Salle University, Hunter earned a degree in biology before gaining his master’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkley. As an athlete, he was a sprinter and three-time qualifier for the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championship.
Hunter succeeds Duane Gomez, who retired as Kenyon’s head coach after 37 years at the College.
“We are both proud of the history that Coach Gomez has left us with and excited for the new direction that Coach Hunter will take us in the coming years,” Newell added.