Year at JMU: 14th
Coaching Specialty: Distance, middle distance
Highlights of Rinker's Coaching Career
- Coach, U.S. Senior Men, IAAF World Cross Country Championships (2003)
- Colonial Athletic Association Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2011)
- CAA Women's Cross Country Champion (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2011)
- CAA Women's Cross Country Runner-up (1998, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009)
- Eastern College Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Champion (2001, 2010)
- IC4A Men's Cross Country Champion (2003)
- NJCAA national Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year (1987, 1990)
- NJCAA national Men's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year (1999)
- NJCAA Cross Country/Track & Field All-Americas: 119
- NJCAA national cross country/track & field individual champions: 10
- NJCAA national cross country men's team champions (1987, 1990)
- NJCAA national cross country team runners-up (women 1985, 1986, 1987, men 1986, 1989)
- North Carolina men's cross country team champions (1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994)
- NJCAA Coaches Hall of Fame (inducted 1999)
- Virginia high school girls' cross country championships (1982, 1983)
- Virginia high school girls' track & field championships (1982, 1983, 1984)
Dave Rinker debuted as the Dukes' cross country coach in 1999-00 and promptly guided the JMU women's and men's teams to conference championships, was named Colonial Athletic Association women's cross country Coach of the Year, and coached the Dukes' men's team to a third-place NCAA regional finish, which advanced the squad to the NCAA National Championships.
The success has continued through his 13 years as JMU coach.
In 2000 his women's team repeated as CAA champion and was runner-up in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, and he was again voted CAA women's cross country Coach of the Year. Rinker's men's team was CAA runner-up, and Ben Cooke qualified for the NCAA National Championships and won All-America honors there.
In 2001 his women's team won its third consecutive CAA title and also captured the ECAC championship, and the women won a fourth straight CAA crown in 2002. Rinker won his third and fourth CAA coach of the year honors in 2001 and 2002, and under his guidance Mollie DeFrancesco earned All-America honors as a top-30 finisher in the 2002 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
In 2004 Rinker was again honored as CAA women's cross country Coach of the Year after coaching Shannon Saunders to the CAA title and a fourth-place regional finish and national qualifying performance. His women's team was second in the CAA meet, finishing just one point behind champion William and Mary in the closest competition in the league's 21-year history.
Saunders repeated as CAA cross country champion in 2005, when for the second consecutive season she also qualified for the NCAA national meet and was named CAA Runner of the Year. In 2006 Dena Spickard won the CAA cross country title, was named CAA cross country Runner of the Year and qualified for the NCAA national meet. In 2009 Alison Parris qualified for the NCAA national meet, marking the sixth time that one of Rinker's runners ran in the NCAA National Championships.
In 2009 the CAA named six former JMU runners to its 25-member 25th Anniversary Team, and all six of those ran for Rinker: DeFrancesco (JMU '03), Cindy Dunham ('03), Bethany Eigel ('00), Heather Hanscom ('01), Saunders ('06) and Spickard ('08).
In 2010 Rinker was again honored as the CAA Coach of the Year after guiding the Dukes to their fifth conference title and second ECAC championship under Rinker. Senior Alison Parris won the individual title at both the CAA and ECAC Championships.
The 2011 season brought another CAA team title and league Coach of the Year accolade for Rinker. Katie Harman claimed both the CAA and ECAC championships for the Dukes.
Rinker's athletes have also excelled in the classroom, and his 2010 and 2011 teams were recognized as an All-Academic Team by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. In 2011-12 Stacey Nobles won the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for cross country, and Harman won the league's scholar-athlete award for track and field.
Rinker's JMU men's teams were the CAA cross country runner-up in seven seasons (2000-06). In 2003 the Dukes won the IC4A cross country title and in 2006 the team was IC4A cross country runner-up. C.W. Moran won both the 2006 CAA and IC4A cross country races and was voted CAA cross country Runner of the Year. Scott Tekesky was selected 2006 CAA cross country Rookie of the Year.
He also coached the U.S. senior men's teams in the International Amateur Athletics Foundation World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland in March 2003.
Rinker came to JMU with a stellar background as coach of the cross country and track programs at Brevard (N.C.) College for 15 years. Prior to joining the college coaching ranks, he was among Virginia's leading scholastic coaches.
He coached the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams and served as director of athletics at Brevard from 1984-99 and coached at Blacksburg (Va.) High School from 1977-84.
At Brevard, Rinker coached teams to two (1987, 1990) National Junior College Athletic Association national titles in men's cross country and led three women's (1985-87) and two men's (1986, 1989) teams to NJCAA cross country runner-up finishes. He coached 119 NJCAA All-Americas and 10 national champions in cross country and track and field, and his men's teams won five (1988-89, 1991, 1993-94) North Carolina collegiate state cross country titles (four-year and two-year schools included). He twice (1987, 1990) was named NJCAA men's cross country coach of the year, was the 1999 NJCAA men's outdoor track coach of the year and in 1999 was inducted into the NJCAA Coaches Hall of Fame.
In 1998 he coached the U.S. Men's Junior World Cross Country Team. He has coached three athletes who earned positions on the U.S. Men's Junior World Cross Country Team and two who earned positions on the U.S. Men's Senior World Cross Country Team.
As athletics director at Brevard, Rinker oversaw the addition of baseball, volleyball and softball to the school's athletics offerings and the construction of new facilities for track and field, softball and baseball.
He was president of the NJCAA Cross Country Coaches Association from 1994-96 and formerly edited the national cross country newsletter for that organization.
At Blacksburg High School, Rinker directed the boys' and girls' cross country and track programs. His girls' teams won five state championships: two (1982-83) in cross country and three (1982-84) in track and field. He coached athletes who earned All-America accolades six times, were Foot Locker national cross country finalists three times, set six state records and won 14 individual state titles. He was presented the Walter Cormack Award for outstanding accomplishments in track and field by the Virginia High School League in 1982.
A native of Winchester, Va., Rinker is a 1977 JMU graduate with a degree in business education and a 1973 graduate of Winchester's James Wood High School.
He and his wife, Sue, have two sons, Mark, a 2008 JMU graduate, and Kevin, a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University.