The University of St. Thomas hired their first-ever Head Cross Country coach. Ryan Dohner, a Houston Native who attended Klein Oak High School, accepted the position earlier this spring and begins his tenure July 5th, 2017.
According to Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports, Todd Smith, it was an easy decision after meeting Coach Dohner. "Everything Ryan has accomplished academically and athletically has prepared him for this position. He has all the characteristics we were looking for in our cross country coach; a strong faith, a terrific work ethic, knowledge of the sport and a connection to the Houston running community. He is a great athlete who is ready to share his knowledge and build a foundation for UST cross country. We want to welcome Ryan home and to St. Thomas".
Dohner is excited to return to Houston and begin a coaching career and continue to pursue his running; "Leading the cross country program at UST is an opportunity to give young men and women the same incredible experience I had while pursuing my dreams in running and school. Coming home to Houston provides me an opportunity to return the attention, passion, and knowledge I have learned in my years as a high school student, to pro runner, to now head coach at UST."
After a very successful career at the University of Texas, Dohner signed with HOKA NAZ Elite in July of 2015. He won his first race as a pro at the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10k and followed it up with a 2nd place finish at the Phoenix 5k in a fast 14:08. Afterwards, he finished second at the Lake Nona 15k in November. The next month he finished 11th at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships, where he qualified to represent the United States at the 2016 Great Edinburgh XC Challenge. He finished 15th in Edinburgh against all-star teams from Great Britain and Europe.
While at UT, Dohner participated on both the Track & Field and Cross Country teams. Some of his highlights include: Two-time All-American (Cross Country,) 2012 First Team All-American (Track and Field), Four-Time USTFCCCA Cross Country All-South Central Region, Three-Time All-Big 12 (Cross Country), and is 2011 he was Academic All-Big 12 (Cross Country).
In high school he ran at Klein Oak (Spring ISD) and was one of the nation's best prep distance runners. Dohner won the Nike South Regional Cross Country Championship his senior year and finished 12th at the National Meet. On the track he was the Texas State Champion at 3200 meters (9:00.15) and ran 8:55.58 in that same event at the Midwest Distance Gala.
Recently Dohner finished 2nd in the 10K at the 2017 Portland Track Festival with a PR of 28:19 and qualified for the U.S. Track Championship in Sacramento, CA.
Cross Country is a natural fit for UST Athletics. "Cross country student-athletes are disciplined, focused and very strong academically. Our location is a great training area. Additionally, cross country does not require many facilities or scholarship dollars. It works for us economically. This would not have been possible without gifts from our closest supporters".
The Celts will begin competing in the fall of 2018.