Coach Patrick Cunniff
Achieve More. Get Faster.
I’m genuinely excited to work with anyone who wants to get better, from run/walk 5ker to Olympic Trials qualifier. I have been involved in our sport for over 40 years now and take real pleasure in helping people meet their goals. I believe in smart, consistent training building over time. I have learned many lessons working with runners at all levels and want to put that knowledge to work crafting individual training plans. The pursuit of a meaningful goal is so worthwhile and with dedication and communication, we can get you there!
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Patrick Cunniff comes to RunDoyen, following 10 years at the University of Georgia as Cross Country and Distance Track Coach. Cunniff has a total of 19 years Division I coaching experience, including success at Long Beach State, TCU and the University of Texas. In addition to his collegiate coaching, Coach Cunniff spent one year working with Luke’s Locker in Dallas-Fort Worth, where he was actively involved in all of their adult training programs from 5k-marathon.
In his decade at Georgia, Cunniff’s athletes rewrote the record books and excelled in competition and the classroom. Men’s Cross country earned the highest finish in UGA history in 2012 by placing 19th at the NCAA Championships. The following year, the Bulldog men won the NCAA South Region to earn another trip to the NCAA Championships, and Cunniff was awarded Regional Coach of the Year by the coaches association. In 2018 Georgia’s Track & Field Teams had an amazing year winning the NCAA Women’s Indoor National Championship (with the Men 3rd) and the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Championship (with the Women 2nd by 1 pt). During that year, Jessica Drop earned First Team All-American honors in cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track and ran a 5k PR of 15:38. Other major highlights include Megan Malasarte running 800m in 2:02.08 and being a two-time USATF Outdoor semi-finalist; Carly Hamilton running 4:12 for 1500m and scoring twice in the NCAA Indoor Mile; Brandon Lord winning the SEC 10k, setting a school record 13:43 5k and representing Canada in international competition. Charles Grethen, who was an outstanding 800m runner for the Bulldogs, ultimately progressed to represent Luxembourg in the Olympic 1500m final. Cunniff’s athletes dominate the UGA All-time lists and earned numerous academic and community services awards as well. Just this year, Samantha Drop was named a Top 30 NCAA Woman of the year finalist.
Coach Cunniff’s time at Long Beach State was highlighted by Matt Maldonado running the first sub-4 mile in Long Beach history, while winning the MPSF Championship against Stanford All-American Chris Derrick. That Spring of 2012 saw Maldonado run 1500m in 3:37 to qualify for the US Olympic trials, where he advanced to the semi-finals. Rosa Del Toro became the first ever Big West Cross Country Champion for “The Beach” under Cunniff’s guidance. At the time of his departure, his athlete owned the majority of the distance marks on the all-time lists. His TCU years saw Jackson Langat win the NCAA Indoor 800m in 2005 and Mary Kinyanjui win the C-USA Cross Country title in 2004. At TCU, Cunniff also worked with Kip Kangogo, one of the NCAAs top runners from cross country to the 1500m and 5000m in track. Post-collegiately, Cunniff and Kangogo would regularly consult during an outstanding career on the roads that included multiple sub 1:05:00 Half-marathon and victories in many of Canada’s biggest races.
Cunniff himself has been running since going out for Middle School Cross Country in North Kingstown, RI. He was part of several State Championship teams at Bishop Hendricken High School and earned All-State honors senior year by finishing 5th in the State Championship XC race. He ran collegiately at the University of Georgia.
Cunniff earned a Boston Marathon qualifier at the Tucson Marathon in 2002, and completed the Hopkinton to Boston course in the 2003 race. An avid hiker, Cunniff has hiked nearly every trail in Yellowstone and has competed in many trail races in the area around Bozeman, MT, including the Bridger Ridge Run, a twenty mile race across the spine of the Bridger Mountain range. Currently living near Athens, GA with his wife Katie and daughter Casidy, Patrick Cunniff is in training for a 24 hour run.