Year Inducted: 2016
Denny began running in grade school attending Our Lady of Rosary in Dayton, Ohio. Little did he know at the time, that he would go on to become a national caliber distance runner who would also compete internationally representing his country.
He ran cross country and track for Chaminade HS in Dayton from 1964-1968. During that time, he was recognized as the Southwest Ohio (SWO) District Cross Country Champion in 1966 and 1967. He also placed 4th in the Ohio HS State Cross Country Championship Meet in 1967. In track, he won the 1968 SWO District 2 Mile event. Denny qualified for the Ohio HS State Championship Meet four times (3x in CC, 1x in track). His HS PR’s were: CC 2 Mile (9:28) and track 2 Mile (9:37).
While attending Miami University (Ohio), he was voted most outstanding distance runner three times (1970-1972). He competed in six NCAA National Championship Meets; three in CC (1969-1970) and three in the Steeplechase (1970-1972). At Miami, he placed 6th in the 3000m Steeplechase at the NCAA National Championships in 1970. Denny won the Mid-American Conference Championship in the Steeplechase in 1972. He also represented the USA as part of the team at the World University Games in Turin, Italy in 1970. One of the highlights for Denny racing in three NCAA cross country championships was getting to race with Steve Prefontaine. Denny was invited to the first Olympic Development Distance Camp in 1970 and while there was part of the team which set the world record for the 24 hour relay.
Post College Track
After college, he ran for the Florida Track Club from 1972-1974. His teammates included Olympians Frank Shorter, Marty Liquori, Jack Bacheler, and Jeff Galloway. In the AAU National Championship in Bakersfield, CA, Denny placed 5th in the 3000m Steeplechase (8:42). He competed for Team USA in the Pacific Conference Games/Canada and also in the Piere DeCoupitan Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the Steeplechase event. His 2 Mile PR with the FTC was 8:48.
Denny returned to his roots when he started coaching the boys cross country team at Chaminade-Julienne HS (1974-1977). He also coached boys and girls track at CJ from 1974-1978. In addition, Denny was the boys and girls distance track coach for Centerville HS (1979-1980). Denny’s CJ boys teams placed 6th (1975), 4th (1976), and 3rd (1977) in the Division 2 Cross Country State Championship Meet. His Centerville girls 4x800 relay team were State Champions in 1979. It was the first time the 4x800 was an event at the high school level for girls in Ohio.
Denny coached a number of outstanding runners, including Chuck Bridgeman (3x State Champion), Kelly Greenlee (1x State Champion - 800m), Lisa Haws (2nd in State - 1 Mile), and Tom Quigley (2x All-State in CC). Denny is especially proud of how well his runners performed as a team.
Denny was involved in organizing the Brother Bill Grundish 5K at CJ high school which helped provide student scholarships. He also promoted some of Dayton’s first big races by encouraging his runners and others to participate.
He is an accomplished runner, coach, and mentor who helped build and develop the running scene in Dayton, Ohio.