Shawn Wilbourn joined the Blue Devil staff following the Olympic Trials in July of 2008. Wilbourn, an associate head coach, works with Duke’s combined-event, pole vault, horizontal jumps and hurdles student-athletes, while previously coaching the Blue Devil sprinters as well.
The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) recognized Wilbourn as the Southeast Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year in both 2015 and 2016 following the conclusion of the outdoor seasons.
Wilbourn’s 2018 unit shined with All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Madison Heath picked up first team accolades at the indoor event while Laura Marty tacked on a second team selection at the outdoor event. Heath made the jump from second team in 2017 to first team in 2018. Heath earned first team All-ACC honors indoor and second second team outdoor with Nati Sheppard netting a second team outdoors. Wilbourn’s heptathlon, pentathlon and decathlon groups also excelled indoors during the 2018 season with Jacob Sobota a first team All-ACC honoree and Christian Friis a second team pick on the men’s side. Jaida Lemmons was a second team pentathlon pick for the women. The crew also excelled outdoors with Lemmons (first team/heptathlon), Erin Marsh (second team/heptathlon), Sobota (second team/decathlon) and Friis (second team/decathlon) receiving All-ACC recognition.
The 2017 season saw Wilbourn lead another strong multi-event group. Heath qualified for the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships in the pole vault, finishing 13th and earning second team All-America honors at both. Heath was joined by Daniel Golubovic (decathlon) and Connor Hall (pole vault) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Golubovic earned second team All-America honors with an 11th place finish and Hall was an All-America honorable mention choice as he finished in 20th place. Heath took gold in the pole vault at the ACC Indoor Championships with Sydnei Murphy earning first team All-ACC honors in the long jump. Golubovic and Chaz Hawkins finished fourth and fifth respectively in the heptathlon at the ACC Indoor Championships to both earn second team All-ACC Honors. At the ACC Outdoor Championships, Golubovic (decathlon) and Hall (pole vault) both earned first team All-ACC Honors while Jeremy McDuffie earned second team All-ACC honors in both the 110-meter hurdles and the triple jump. On the women’s side, Heath (pole vault), Lemmons (heptathlon), Murphy (long jump), and Sheppard (pole vault) all earned first team All-ACC honors while Chesney Ward (pole vault) earned second team All-ACC honors.
The 2016 season saw Wilbourn receive USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year honors, the second year in a row he earned the honors. The season was headlined by Megan Clark (pole vault), Heath (pole vault), Teddi Maslowski (multi-events) and Karli Johonnot (multi-events) qualifying for the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, where Clark claimed second in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Clark and Johonnot each took gold in the pole vault and pentathlon at the ACC Championships, and Robert Rohner finished first in the heptathlon for the men. Four different women set indoor school records: Murphy in the 60, Maslowski in the 60 meter hurdles, Clark in the pole vault and Johonnot in the pentathlon, while the men set a program record in the 4x200 (Brett Bofinger, Rohner, Matt Rodio and Hawkins). During indoor competition, five women and three men received All-ACC honors, and one woman claimed All-America accolades. During the outdoor campaign, five women and one man received All-ACC honors, while six women claimed All-America accolades. Clark was named Southeast Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year during the indoor and outdoor season.
In the pole vault, Wilbourn helped Clark produce one of the most prolific seasons in Duke history in 2015, earning first team indoor All-America honors, being named the ACC Women’s Indoor Field Performer of the Year and setting school records for both the indoor and outdoor pole vault. Clark, who claimed gold at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships, finished second at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a clearance of 14-9.00 (4.50) to tie the ACC record. The Fort Benning, Ga., product also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships and earned honorable mention All-America accolades. For the men, Connor Hall put together a career year, highlighted by finishing second at the ACC Championships with a height of 16-7.50 (5.07), the fifth-best height in school history.
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.
In addition to college coaching experience, Wilbourn has also imparted his knowledge to athletes following their collegiate careers. In 2008, WIlbourn coached former Georgia long jumper Patty Sylvester to the Beijing Olympics. The Grenadian posted a mark of 22-0.25 (6.71) the same year, a national record for the event.
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.
Wilbourn has one daughter, Justice, and one son, Braeden.