Ryan Crane – Girls’ Head Coach & Hurdles (949-280-9253)

Ryan competed on the DHHS track team for four years. He held the 400 meter record of 48.42 for 12 years until it was broken in 2006 by Cade Lindahl, an athlete that Coach Crane was fortunate enough to have coached.

Coach Crane ran for Saddleback College, but was forced out of competition due to injuries. Today, he uses his knowledge and experience to help others find success, both on the track and off. Coach Crane has coached track at DHHS for 15 years and girls cross country for 12.

Coach Crane was the boys’ head coach at DHHS from 2005-2006 and has been the girls’ head coach since 2007. Coach Crane has been a vital part of the success of the program, most significantly in the hurdles, an event he has been coaching since 2000. Coach Crane was named the Orange County Track and Field “Coach of the Year” in 2009 and in 2012!

Coach Crane has been working with kids all of his adult life. In the summer he owns and operates a youth summer camp, Hobbledehoy, with Coach Dunn.


Craig Dunn – Boys’ Head Coach (949-395-1351)

Coach Dunn is starting his 15th season coaching Track and Field at DHHS. This will be his 8th year as the Boys’ Head Coach. In the Fall, Coach Dunn helps coach the Boys’ Cross Country Team. Coach Dunn was named the Orange County Track and Field “Coach of the Year” two years in a row (’08 & ’09). He is the only coach to have won 4 consecutive Orange County Championships (the only team to do so in OC history!). In 2010 his team placed 5th at Nike Nationals and 10th in 2011! He lead his team to a Div1 CIF title in 2009, which was the first ever in the Capistrano Unified School District!

Coach Dunn is an Alumni of DHHS; he ran for Coach Butler in the early 1990’s. Coach Dunn teaches physical education at Dana, and in the summer Coach Dunn operates his summer camp, Hobbledehoy, with Coach Crane. Coach Dunn has two children, Cody and Riley, and is married to pole vault coach, Julie Dunn.


Tim Butler – Boys Distance (949-246-7170)

Coach Butler is on his 41st year as a Cross Country and Track Coach at DHHS. He was also the Boys Head Soccer Coach in 1976, 1977, & 1988. Coach Butler is a very established and successful coach, having coached multiple athletes that have had success at the State and National level. He has had 34 consecutive post season appearances coached 21 League Titles, 5 CIF Titles, and 4 State Titles in Cross Country, as well as 1 Soccer League Championship.

Coach Butler has coached every Track & Field school record holder on the boys distance team. Coach Butler was named the Orange County Cross Country “Coach of the Year” in ’87, ’88, ’01, ’03, ’07, ’08, and ’09. He was also named the California State Cross Country “Coach of the Year” in 2009 and was inducted into the Mt. SAC Hall of Fame in 2012!


Vern McGarry – High Jump (949-683-6728)

Since 1975, Vern has coached various athletes in the California Police Olympics. He coaches Masters athletes in javelin, high jump, hammer, and discus. Vern is entering his 14th season as the high jump coach at Dana Hills. Vern’s varsity high jumpers have won a league championship 12 times and earned 44 varsity South Coast League medals in the previous 14 years.

Vern is a retired San Clemente police officer. He has competed in the California Police Olympics since 1975 and Masters Track & Field since 1996. Vern has won more than 100 medals in track and field. His favorite hobby is skydiving and has over 1100 jumps.


Julie Dunn – Pole Vault (949-489-3447)

This is Julie’s 11th season coaching the pole vaulters at Dana and coached the Frosh/Soph Cross Country girls from 2004-2009. She is married to head coach, Craig Dunn and has two children, Cody and Riley.

Julie competed in track & field at Grossmont High School in San Diego and at San Diego State University. She has a personal best of 12’0″ in the pole vault.

She is also in charge of this website, please email her at with any comments or errors.


Steve Horrell – Pole Vault

Steve competed for Dana Hills in high school and is still currently the boys’ pole vault record holder, at 15’1″. He competed for four years at UC Santa Barbara and has been coaching the vaulters at Dana for 5 years. Coach Horrell is currently in Taiwan teaching children.


Doug “Bubba” Sparks – Pole Vault (

We are very pleased to welcome a new and highly experienced coach to our pole vault staff this year. Bubba has been vaulting since 1972 with an impressive PR of 18’1″. He vaulted at Southwest Texas State where he was a five time All American and three time National Champion. In 1976 Bubba qualified for the Olympic Trials. He continues to vault as a Masters athlete and has many remarkable accomplishments, including 3 USATF National Masters Championships and was the 2009 World Champion in the World Masters Games in Sydney, Australia – just to name a few!

Bubba has been coaching since his college years and has coached athletes from the high school level through Olympians. He is a USATF Level 1 Certificated Instructor and has held many clinics and camps. Bubba was a volunteer assistant coach at UCI from 1988-2001 and in 1996 he was a selected coach for the Olympic Games!


Jim Copp – Distance (949-279-0749)

Jim has been coaching for over 32 years, including 12 years at Upland High School in Wrestling and Baseball, and 18 years of coaching his daughters in Club Softball and Soccer. He has also helped out with the Dana Hills Cross Country team for the past 13 years. This is his 7th year with the Dana Hills Track and Field Program.


Keith Chambers – Sprints (949-357-7718)

Keith Chambers is the Sprints Coach at Dana Hills High School. He brings knowledge and experience to coaching with an emphasis on correct running mechanics, along with mental preparation for competition. He is a USA Track and Field Certified Coach and has coached international champions, US National Champions, League Champions, and CIF Finalists.

Coach Chambers is currently competing as a Masters 400/800m athlete, where he is a 3 time National Champion at 400/800m. He recently returned home from the World Championships in Brazil, where he was a finalist in both the 400 and 800 meters, and won a Silver Medal on the USA 4x400m relay team.

He is very passionate about the sport of Track and Field and the development of USA youth and Dana Hills high school Track stars into future Olympians. He also has long term goals to coach Olympians and make a major contribution to USATF in the future.


Chris Cota – Girls Distance

Chris Cota has 14 years of coaching experience, 9 of which he coached girls softball. He has also coached soccer and baseball, and has experience in coaching kids with special needs. Coach Cota has assisted the girls’ cross county and track and field program for the past 5 years. He is the new Head Coach for the girls’ cross country team.

Chris Cota has a daughter that has gone through the distance program and is currently running for San Francisco State University.


Marni Cota – Distance and Team PT (949-280-9642)

Marni Cota is a physical therapist and has been coaching at Dana Hills for the past 7 years helping to keep the athletes injury free. She loves running and her job as a physical therapist at Laguna Orthopedic Rehabilitation. Marni is a member of the hall of fame at Montana State University, where she ran in College. She is Married to husband Ed and has two boys.


Brooke Bertran – Hurdles

Coach Bertan has been coaching track and field for the past 12 years. This is her second season with the dolphins coaching the boys’ and girls’ hurdles.

Bertan received a full ride track and field scholarship at the University of Nevada Reno where she competed in the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, long jump, high jump, heptathlon, and the 4×400 meter relay. Running track in college is still some of her best memories.

Brooke has been married to husband Jaime for 4 years and have a 29 month old boy named Jackson. Coach Betran enjoys spending her free time with her family and working out. Teaching and coaching has always been a passion of hers and currently teaches at Saint Annes.


Mike LaRocca – High Jump

Mike LaRocca has eight years of Track and Field experience. Four years with the Dana Hills Dolphins, where he was Co-MVP in 2007 and MVP in 2008. He competed in High Jump and both Hurdle events. A 6′ 8″ personal best from high school led to competition for the UCSB Gaucho D1 Track program.

For the Gauchos, Mike competed in the Decathlon for two years, and due to injuries, chose to pursue just the High Jump in his final two years. Mike was named Captain of the 2012 squad that won the school’s first ever Big West Team Conference Championship. He placed 2nd in the conference with a jump and personal best of 2.11m or 6′ 11″.

Mike signs onto the Dolphins coaching squad as a general facilitator. With a strong background in Anatomy, Physiology, and Biomechanics, Mike uses this knowledge to optimize event technique and provide a fresh set of eyes. Mike is very excited to give back to a program that he says, “contributed so much toward [his] growth and development in high school.”


David Brown – Shot Put