Derek Koonts joined the TCU coaching staff in the fall of 2001. Koonts, who possesses a great background in distance running, works with both the men's and women's distance runners and cross country programs and handles the team's travel arrangements.
Koonts was honored last fall as co-Coach of the Year in Conference USA cross country when his women's squad took runner-up honors at the Conference USA championships. Horned Frog harriers Mary Kinyanjui and Ami Butler finished one-two in the meet. The effort lifted TCU into the nation's top 30 in the rankings for the first time in school history.
On the track, Koonts has had the responsibilties of coaching and training the indoor men's 800-meter school record holder Jackson Langat, indoor and outdoor men's pole vault school record holder Cody Koontz, outdoor women's 5,000-meter school record holder Mary Kinyanjui, women's 3,000-meter steeplechase school record holder Alayne Thompson, and outdoor men's 10,000-meter school record holder Herbert Mwangi.
A 1999 graduate from Sam Houston State, Koonts served as the assistant men's and women's track & field coach at his alma mater during the 2000 season while working on his master's degree in kinesiology which he received in 2003. His responsibilities included designing practice schedules for the distance runners, pole vaulters and hurdlers. Under his guidance, his athletes produced school records in the women's 60-meter hurdles and the 400-intermediate hurdles. His women's cross country team finished second in the Southland Conference and sixth at the 2000 Region VI cross country meet. He also recruited two of the nation's top 10 pole vaulters.
While an undergrad at Sam Houston, Koonts earned all-Southland Conference seven times. He was the school record holder in both the mile and the steeplechase events. He was named the Outstanding Runner for the SLC 2000 Indoor Championships and earned High Point Individual honors after recording victories in the Distance Medley and 3,000 meters. He was also the cross country team captain in both 1998 and 1999.