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University of Birmingham Head of Athletics Luke Gunn
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, and now is the Head of Performance Sports at the University.

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.

Dean Miller

Endurance Manager

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.

Jade Surman

Track & Field Manager

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.



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 there 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.

University of Birmingham sprints and hurdles coach Mike Bennett
Lauren Butler

Sprints Coach

Lauren is a recent graduate and has started to coach a sprints group this year, focusing on short sprints.


Throughout her time at the University, she's competed at BUCS and coached at the academy, and decided now it is time to coach the next generation of BUAC.



Led by Dean Miller

Jethro McGraw

Endurance Coach

Jethro is a recent addition to the coaching line up - full bio and contact details comming soon

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Profile photo of University of Birmingham endurance coach Sally Straw
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.


Led by Jade Surman

Julian Reid

Jumps coach

Julian is a British athlete who competes in the long jump and triple jump. He attended Texas A&M univeristy in the United States where he was a 3 -time medallist in the NCAA championships from 2009-2011. He is a 4-time British champion and won a bronze medal at the European Outdoor Championships in the triple jump in 2016.


He has been coaching since 2014 and began to aid with delivering jumps sessions to our athletes since 2017, whilst still competing at an elite level.

Profile photo of University of Birmingham jumps coach Julian Reid at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam 2016
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Andy Ashurst

Pole Vault Coach

Andy is a recent addition to the coaching line up - full bio and contact details comming soon


Led by Mike Bull

Mike Bull

Throws Coach

Mike is a recent addition to the coaching line up - full bio and contact details comming soon

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