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Shawn Wilbourn
Position: Associate Head Coach
Phone: (919) 681-6360
Email: swilbourn@duaa.duke.edu
Shawn Wilbourn Bio
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Updated: 08/12/2014

Shawn Wilbourn is currently in his sixth season as a member of the Duke Track & Field coaching staff after joining the Blue Devils following the Olympic Trials in July of 2008. Wilbourn works with Duke's combined-event, pole vault, and sprints and hurdles student-athletes.

In 2013, Wilbourn’s athletes continued to excel as they collected accolades and set numerous school records during both the indoor and outdoor season. Redshirt junior Curtis Beach earned first team All-America honors with a seventh place finish and 7,989 points in the decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships while redshirt freshman Karli Johonnot returned from an achilles injury to earn All-ACC honors in the women’s heptathlon, finishing third with a career-best 5,033 points.  Indoors, sophomore Ian Rock earned his first ACC title in the men’s heptathlon after scoring 5,328 points at the ACC Indoor Championships and junior Miray Seward also garnered her first All-ACC honors with 3,784 points in the women’s pentathlon to finish second overall. 

Under Wilbourn’s direction, the sprint group depth has increased dramatically over the years.  In the 2013 outdoor season alone, the women’s group set new school records in the women’s 4x100 (45.72), 4x400 (3:37.51) and sprint medley relay (3:46.43).  The women’s 4x400 and 4x100 relay finished second and third at the ACC Outdoor Championships respectively, while the sprint medley relay finished second at the prestigious 2013 Penn Relays.  The 4x400 relay also qualified for the 2013 NCAA East First Round.  On the men’s side, the 4x400 relay set a school record and placed third at the ACC Outdoor Championships.     

During the 2012 season, Wilbourn coached multievent standout Curtis Beach to an outstanding season that included being crowned the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track and Field heptathlon champion. During the event, Beach broke the school and conference record by earning a total of 6,183 points and broke the world record in the heptathlon 1,000 meter run by completing the final event in 2:23.63. Under Wilbourn's direction, the Albuquerque, N.M., native also earned gold in the ACC Indoor Championships and finished with silver in the decathlon at the ACC Outdoor Championships. Beach also earned second team All-America honors in the 800m and long jump and was a 2012 Olympic Trials decathlon finalist to close out the season.

Also in 2012, Wilbourn coached senior pole vaulter Amy Fryt to second-team All-America honors and freshman Karli Johonnot to an Indoor ACC Championship title in the pentathlon. Overall, Wilbourn's athletes broke six school records during the indoor and outdoor season.

During his Duke tenure, Wilbourn has coached one NCAA Champion, nine All-Americas, six ACC Champions,18 All-ACC honors.  At the conclusion of the 2013 season, his athletes combined to own 21 school records.

Prior to working at Duke, Wilbourn held a similar position at Georgia after spending four years at Cortland State University, the last two as Director of Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country. He was honored with numerous Atlantic Region and New York State Coach of the Year honors for his mentoring at Cortland State, while coaching 18 All-Americans and two national champions.

Wilbourn's other collegiate coaching stops include the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and his alma mater, Long Beach State University. Wilbourn earned his master's in kinesiology from Long Beach in 2003.

As an athlete, Wilbourn was a 1996 Olympic Trials finalist in the decathlon and competed at the World Championships for the United States in 1997. His career best in the decathlon is 8,268 points.

Wilbourn was also selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL draft. He spent time under contract with the San Francisco 49ers during the 1992 NFL campaign.

In addition, Wilbourn is a USATF Level II certified coach as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

His wife, Makeba, is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke. They have one daughter, Justice (9), and one son, Braeden (6).

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