Twelve new members of the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame were inducted over the weekend. The group, selected in 2020, was enshrined at a dinner in the Covelli Center Friday evening and introduced to the crowd at halftime of the Ohio State football game Saturday.
Among the inductees was Karen Dennis, the Buckeyes’ director of track and field and cross country since 2003.
One of the most respected names in the track and field community, Karen Dennis joined the Ohio State staff in 2003. She spent four seasons as an assistant track coach (2003-06), served as the women’s track and field/cross country head coach from 2006-14 and was named the Buckeyes’ director of track & field and cross country prior to the 2014-15 campaign.
Dennis has had outstanding achievements thus far in her career at Ohio State. Under her direction, the Buckeyes have won eight Big Ten Championship team titles, including the women’s 2020 indoor conference title and 2018-19 indoor and outdoor sweep. The women’s program won their first conference indoor title and first outdoor title in 42 years. The men’s program swept both the indoor and outdoor conference titles in 2018, making Dennis the first woman in Big Ten history to lead a men’s team to a title in any sport. Since coming to Ohio State, Dennis has coached athletes to over 60 individual B1G titles, more than 50 First and Second Team All- Americans and has coached athletes to five national championships.
Dennis’s coaching has caught the eye of fans and athletes all over as she has been called a ‘Trailblazer’ throughout her career. The veteran coach is a seven-time USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year and a four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year. She has been inducted into the USTFCCCA and Michigan State Athletic hall of fames. Dennis was the head coach of the women’s 2000 Olympic Team, 1989 World University Games coach, 1991 Pan American Games coach and coached in the World Championships in 1995. She is an advocate on the USATF International Competition Committee and is a past president of the Athletic Congress Women’s Track Coaches Association.