BORN: May 30, 1971
HOMETOWN: Gillette, Wyoming
COLLEGE: University of Colorado (B.S., 1994)
CHILDREN: Daughter Riley Elizabeth and son Benjamin Ryan
COACHING EXPERIENCE: University of Colorado, 1995-2002, assistant track and cross country coach; recruiting coordinator, 2000-02.
WSU APPOINTMENT: 2002 - Assistant track and field coach; 2004 - Head coach cross country
Jason Drake is in his fifth season as head coach and seventh season of mentoring the Cougar distance corps. His runners have found increasing success at WSU including Sara Trané winning back-to-back Pacific-10 Conference steeplechase titles, the Cougar women scoring 20 points in the steeplechase at the 2008 conference meet, and the 2006 men's cross country team's at-large berth to the NCAA Championships after an eight-year absence.
Drake has worked tirelessly to build the Cougar program with the top recruits from the state of Washington, the Pacific Northwest and the Western United States. His teams have matured and are racing against the best in prestigious meets across the nation as well as competing well at the Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional Championships.
After implementing a training program with the Cougar distance runners during his first season, Drake coached senior Anna Blue to All-America honors at the 2003 NCAA Track & Field Championships and she also broke four school records that year (indoor 3000m and 5000m, outdoor 5k and 10k) and qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championship. Danny Wolf reached All-American status with his 10th place finish in the 3k at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships. In 2005, sophomore Haley Paul became WSU's third woman to earn All-America cross country honors with her 14th place finish at the national championships. Anna Layman earned All-America honors in the 800m at the 2008 NCAA meet where Trané and Meghan Leonard also competed after trading the school steeplechase record during the season.
Born in Aberdeen, S.D., Drake had a stellar prep career at Campbell County High School, in Gillette, Wyoming, winning seven state titles. He is a 1994 graduate of Colorado, where he was a middle distance runner for the Buffalos and earned seven letters while competing in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. He earned All-America honors as a member of CU's 1994 indoor distance medley relay team. Drake earned several Academic All-Big Eight Conference accolades on his way to earning a Bachelor of science degree in environmental conservation.
Drake spent seven years as a distance coach and the recruiting coordinator at the University of Colorado. He became the recruiting coordinator for Colorado's cross country and track and field programs in 2000, in addition to his long and middle distance coaching duties. At CU he coached All-Americans Lesley Higgins (second in mile at NCAA Indoor), Steve Slattery (second in steeplechase at NCAA Outdoor), and Sara Gorton (fourth in 5k at NCAA Outdoors). Drake recruited and assisted in coaching all members of the Colorado women's 2000, and men's 2001 national championship cross country teams.
In 1999, Drake founded the Colorado Elite Track Club, a nonprofit club for post-collegiate female middle and long distance runners. Among the professional members are several outstanding runners: Shayne Culpepper (2000 Olympic team 1500m and two World Cross Country teams), Janet Trujillo (2002 World Cross Country team and fifth place in 2001 USATF 1500m Outdoor Championships), and Sarah Toland (2002 World Cross Country team).
Drake is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys mountain biking and snow skiing in addition to running. Drake and his wife, Colleen, have a daughter, Riley Elizabeth and a son, Benjamin Ryan.