Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Shawn Wilbourn is currently in his fifth 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.
During the 2012 season, Wilbourn coached combined-event 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 the 2011 season, Wilbourn guided Beach to a breakout season in which he finished second in the decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Beach collected first team All-America honors for his performance, in addition to earning All-ACC accolades both indoors and outdoors. He also coached Fryt to garner All-ACC honors both the indoor and outdoor seasons while topping her own school record indoors. During the indoor season, Fryt advanced to the NCAA Championships, where she placed 12th to earn Second Team All-America status.
In 2010, Wilbourn guided three Blue Devils to All-ACC performances, while Fryt captured a conference title during the outdoor season. During that year, two Duke records fell under Wilbourn's watch as two of his student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round with freshmen standout Curtis Beach advancing to the indoor NCAA Championships, becoming the first male individual athlete to do so since 1982.
In his first season with Duke, Wilbourn made an impressive debut, leading two Blue Devil student-athletes to the NCAA Championships and both a men's and women's competitor to ACC individual titles. Tyler Clarke (decathlon) and Jade Ellis (long jump) advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2009, while Ellis and Fryt (pole vault) each captured ACC crowns. In addition, Ellis and Clarke both set school records in their respective events, while Fryt added an ECAC indoor title to her resume.
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 Developmental Psychology department at Duke. They have one daughter, Justice (8), and one son, Braeden (5).