Coaches

 
Luke Gunn

Head of Athletics

Luke was a GB International runner on the track, cross-country and road during a junior and senior career that spanned 2 decades. Highlights include 4 National Senior UK Titles at the 3,000m Steeplechase and 3 Commonwealth Games finals.

 

Luke captained the University of Birmingham Athletics Club as an undergraduate and later studied at the Florida State University on a sports scholarship, where he was once again elected a team captain, which won the NCAA team track championship.

From 2010, Luke began coaching alongside his own running and has since coached an array of athletes from 800m-Marathon distances, collecting no fewer than 5 BUCS Individual Gold medals and numerous age-group national medals and GB internationals. Previously, Luke has held the roles of Sports Scholarship Manager at the University of Birmingham and University Athletic Coordinator for England Athletics.

As a coach Luke has a keen eye for technical running development, coupled with a passion for the transitional student-athlete development from promising juniors through to successful senior athletes.

SPRINTS GROUP

 
Dominic McNeillis

Sprints & Hurdles Coach

Dominic has been coaching at the University for 4 years, after many successful years at local club Halesowen AC. Dominic is fully UKA qualified in Sprints, Jumps and Combined Events making him a very versatile and highly technically knowledgeable; coaching junior internationals across all the disciplines.

Dominic was also a member of the initial National Coaching Development Programme (NCDP) cohort.

Mike Bennett

Sprints & Hurdles Coach

Mike was a 100/200m runner and is a graduate of University of Birmingham. He raced both Linford Christie and Alan Wells in his time, although (in his own words) it's doubtful that either of GB's Olympic champions noted his presence.

Mike began his coaching journey in 2003 coaching his daughter, a long jumper and sprinter. From here he started to coach other athletes and has been coaching sprints from 60-400m, hurdles and horizontal jumps.

Mike has coached national medallists and junior internationals at all sprint distances including relays, as well as sprint hurdles and long jump, and Senior Internationals at 100H and 400m. His underpinning philosophy is to try to help each athlete achieve whatever their individual capabilities will allow, while balancing this with other aspects of their life such as studies, work and family.

ENDURANCE

Led by Dean Miller

 
Dean Miller

Endurance Coach & Co-ordinator

Dean is a Paralympian from London 2012 and European medallist over 1500m (T37). Dean is an alumni from Birmingham, who moved into coaching 3 years ago with immediate success. Dean works with the British Athletics Para-Futures programme, as well as being a point-of-contact for the Talent Hub endurance athletes.

Dean also leads on the Street2Stadium initiative from British Para-Athletics, as well as being lead coach for the Youth Talent Programme.

Dean is currently on a UKSport Coaching National Programme and is the lead recruitment coordinator for the University of Birmingham.

Bud Baldaro

Lead Endurance Coach

Bud Baldaro has been at the heart of endurance coaching in the UK for many years, having started coaching at Birmingham University back in 2005.

An esteemed figure and beloved by many, his credentials speak for themselves - with countless athletes having achieved national, and international honours under his guidance over the years.

He backs this up with infectious positivity and warmth, and a welcoming attitude to athletes of all abilities.

Sally Straw

Endurance Coach

Sally has been at hand as an assistant coach over many years at the club, with her daughter Becky successfully coming through the system and gaining international representation during her time at Birmingham.

Now an established part of the set-up, Sally has been instrumental in many of the club's successes in recent years, particularly on the girls side.

JUMPS & COMBINED EVENTS

Led by Jade Surman

 
Jade Surman

Jumps and Combined Events Coach

Jade a former International Heptathlete, has now been coaching at the University for 5 years. She has produced multiple BUCS Medallists and England Junior and Senior representatives.

 

Jade is has been team manager for both England Teams and at the World University Games. Jade is a point-of-contact for the British Athletics Talent Hub and is also lead coach for the Youth Talent Programme.

Jade leads on recruitment for power-based athletes to the University, across all sprints, jumps and throws events.

THROWS

Led by Jan Aarre

 
Jan Aarre

Throws Coach

Jan has led the University's Throws Group for 4 years, covering all events from Shot Put, Discus, Hammer and Javelin. Before this Jan was a lead coach at local Birchfield Harriers, working primarily with their junior throwers with great success.

 

Jan is a member of the England Athletics Mentoring Scheme with National Throws coaches.

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