The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 24, 2014

Bunn tasked with building program at Cottey

Austin Bunn, no stranger to building, has been given the task of starting the cross country and track and field program at Cottey College.

The Nevada-based Comets plan to compete in cross country in the NJCAA this fall, athletic director Dave Ketterman said Monday.

Bunn, 31, is a 2001 graduate of Jasper High School. He competed in track for the Eagles under Dave Davis and added cross country for Mark Misch at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.

Bunn, who earned several academic honors at SNU, began coaching at the high school level with three years at Morrisville. He then coached four years at Jasper and resurrected cross country during that time.

Said Ketterman: “We are thrilled to have Austin take the reins of our newest athletic program. He has several years of experience coaching high school cross country and track and field as well as running at the prep and collegiate level.”

Said Bunn: “I’m very excited. It’s been a dream of mine to coach at the college level. Coach Misch (at Southwest Baptist) made a great impression on me.”

The Jasper girls won a district title in 2013, Bunn said, with two of the Eagles during his stay earning all-state recognition. He had eight state qualifiers and two team conference champions at Morrisville.

Bunn, who’s been with Cottey for some 2 1/2 weeks, said he’s been busy.

“I’ve made perhaps 100 phone calls,” Bunn said. “A couple of girls have made arrangements for visits. We want to sign at least eight runners. We haven’t yet been assigned to a region.”

Bunn’s full-time job is helping design online courses for Columbia Southern University of Orange Beach, Ala.

As a youth, Bunn could look to uncle Richard Bunn for inspiration.

“Richard still has the Jasper record for the mile,” Austin Bunn said. “I broke his two-mile.”

Bunn, who also has a master’s degree from Southwest Baptist, lives in Carthage with wife Lisa and their two children. Lisa, formerly Hicks and of Stockton, also was an SBU athlete.

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