Robinson will serve as distance and head cross country coach
Karen Dennis is in her eighth season as the women's track and field/cross country head coach at Ohio State, having assumed the head coaching position on July 25, 2006.
In 2012, Dennis led the Scarlet and Gray to its second-consecutive Big Ten outdoor title to go along with a runner-up finish at the conference indoor meet, a feat that earned her USTFCCCA Great Lakes and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. Buckeye athletes claimed seven Big Ten titles under her watch and a total of nine athletes qualified for NCAA championship competition, where the team finished 18th at the indoor meet and 21st at the outdoor finals, the highest team finishes in several years. On the cross country course, a Buckeye squad featuring 10 freshmen overcame the injury of No. 1-runner Meredith Wagner to finish ninth at the always-competitive Big Ten championship meet and sixth at the Great Lakes regional final. Two athletes - Tori Brink and Nicole Hilton - represented OSU at the NCAA championship.
While Ohio State enjoyed unprecedented success in 2012, one athlete in particular took the nation by storm. Under the tutelage of Dennis, Christina Manning won national titles in both the 60-meter and 100-meter hurdles on her way to Big Ten and Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year honors. Manning won a total of five conference titles on the year and was an eight-time Big Ten Track Athlete of Week. A semifinalist for the Bowerman Award, track and field's Heisman Trophy, Manning fell only two spots shy of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in the 100-meter hurdles at her first-ever U.S. Olympic Trials.
In 2011, Dennis led Ohio State to a sweep of the Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles - firsts in program history - on her way to winning a total of four coach of the year awards (USTFCCCA Great Lakes Indoor/Outdoor and Big Ten Indoor/Outdoor). Seven Buckeyes qualified for NCAA championship competition, with three earning First Team All-America honors. Manning was the highest finisher in 2011, earning national runner-up honors in the 100-meter hurdles at the outdoor championships. Teammate Letecia Wright placed fifth following a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles at the indoor championships. The duo's top-5 finishes helped the Buckeyes to total of 12 points, the highest point total from an OSU squad at the championships in 11 years. In Big Ten championship competition, OSU won a total of eight individual titles (two indoor and six outdoor). The success on the track followed a cross country season that witnessed the Buckeyes post their highest finish at the Big Ten championships (sixth) in more than 20 years and place in the top-4 at the NCAA regional meet for the second-consecutive year. In addition, two members of the team - Meredith Wagner and Ellen Birmingham - secured individual invitations to the NCAA championship meet.
The Buckeyes current success was built on a four-year period that witnessed the Buckeyes steadily improve each season. In 2010, the Buckeyes surprised many throughout the Big Ten and the Midwest with a second-place finish at the Big Ten indoor championships, their highest finish at a conference meet in nine years. Manning finished the indoor season with a bang, becoming a first-time All-American after a seventh-place finish in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA indoor championships. The outdoor season was highlighted by a sixth-place team finish at the conference championships and Maggie Mullen's All-America finish in the javelin. In addition, the women's cross country team made its first NCAA appearance in school history in the fall of 2009, placing 29th overall following a runner-up finish at the Great Lakes regional championships.
Faced with breaking in a young roster in 2009, Ohio State hit its stride late in the outdoor season, qualifying five individuals for the NCAA outdoor championships. Under the direction of Dennis, Wright finished 16th in the 100-meter finals, while Latoya Sanderson, Ashley Caldwell, Ayrizanna Favours and Shaniqua McGinnis claimed 11th in the 4x400-meter relay. The year prior, Dennis led the Buckeyes through a record-breaking outdoor campaign and a fifth-place finish at the 2008 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, a five-place improvement from 2007. That improvement was due in large part to the return of All-American Jenna (Harris) Griffin, who claimed All-America honors in the 400 and 4x400 at the NCAA championships and qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. The indoor season was dominated by Veronica Jatsek, an All-American in the weight throw.
In her first season as head coach, Dennis helped the 2007 Buckeyes to several national honors. Griffin (400-meter) and Jatsek (hammer and weight throw) earned the first All-America awards of their careers, while Favours earned a bid to the NCAA regional finals and anchored the 4x400-meter relay team to a program record during the indoor season.
Before taking over the OSU women's helm, Dennis spent four seasons as a sprints and hurdles assistant for both the Buckeye men's and women's programs, where she helped train Buckeye legends in Harris, Molly Logan, Anthony Cole and current Buckeye volunteer assistant Joel Brown, a 2003 All-American and Midwest regional champion in the 110-meter hurdles.
Dennis By the Numbers as Head Coach at Ohio State (2006-2013)
International Coaching Career/U.S. Olympic Team
In addition, Dennis is also a member of the USA Track & Field International Competition Committee and a past president of the Athletic Congress Women's Track Coaches Association. She has also served as a member of the NCAA Women's Track and Field Committee and the NCAA Track Coaches Association.