DAYTON, Ohio – Dayton announced that Jason Francis has been hired as the head coach of women’s track and field.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity that the University of Dayton administration has given me,” Francis said. “I am really excited to get to work as head coach, and I am looking forward to continuing to build on the tradition at Dayton.”
Francis comes from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he was the associate head track and field coach. During his seven-year tenure with the Panthers, he coached the men’s program to seven consecutive Horizon League indoor and outdoor team titles – 14 total. In the same time, the women’s program has produced eight championships. Francis helped establish a tradition of success with the men’s track and field program, which holds the third-longest active conference winning streak in Division I with 16 consecutive Horizon League men’s conference titles.
With specializations in sprints, hurdles, jumps and combined events, Francis has mentored student-athletes to success at the national and regional levels. More than 150 of his student-athletes have claimed individual or relay Horizon League championships, including four named the league’s athlete of the year. Francis has had 25 athletes qualify for NCAA preliminaries and coached Samia Taylor to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump in 2011.
Under his tutelage Milwaukee’s top 10 marks in men’s and women’s sprints, hurdles, 800 meters, jump and combined events have been completely rewritten. Francis’ student-athletes also excel in the classroom, a number of Panthers have been selected to the Horizon League’s Academic Honor Roll. Additionally, each of his programs held a team GPA of 3.00 or higher during 2010-11.
Before his time at Milwaukee, Francis served as a volunteer assistant pole vault coach at Division II Lewis University for one season. At Lewis, he mentored two national champions in the pole vault and coached six to Division II All-American selections.
Francis was also a volunteer assistant at his alma mater Indiana State for two seasons. While at ISU, his vaulters broke the women’s indoor and outdoor pole vault records. Four of his student-athletes were named all-conference and one was a regional qualfier for the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships.
Francis’ affiliation with Indiana State began as a student-athlete, as he competed in the pole vault and decathlon. Four times he was named to the all-conference team, including in 2001, when he won the outdoor conference championship in the decathlon. A Downers Grove, Ill., native, Francis began his collegiate career at DuPage Junior College after a standout prep career.
Francis is USATF Level II certified in jumps, sprints, hurdles, combined events and throws.