Brandon Hon, who has had a hand in helping the Seminoles claim five Atlantic Coast Conference team titles in two years, was promoted to director of sprints, hurdles & relays at the conclusion of the 2015 outdoor season.
As an assistant with both the men’s and women’s sprints, hurdles and relays, Hon most recently contributed to the men claiming the program’s 11th ACC Outdoor Championships and the women placing sixth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.Those feats came on the heels of the 2014 seasons, when the FSU men and women swept both the indoor and outdoor conference team titles.
Over the past two years, Hon has had a hand in developing athletes who earned All-American honors in 18 events, including 11 first-team All-American performances between the men and the women. The group is highlighted by 2014 NCAA 60-meter champion Dentarius Locke and 2015 NCAA Outdoor 400-meter champion Kala Funderburk.
Hon’s passion and area of expertise is the hurdles, and his impact has been quickly realized. Redshirt sophomore Sage Watson finished fourth at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter hurdles in 55.97 – out of lane 1 – which was both an Olympic A standard but also good for the Canadian national lead. It was also the best NCAA finish in the event by a Nole since Kim Batten was third in 1991.
In 2014, Anne Zagre set the school record (12.83) and placed sixth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 100-meter hurdles. That too was the best finish in the 100-meter hurdles bya Seminole since Kim Batten was fourth in 1991.
In addition to the All-American efforts of Watson and Zagre, Nicole Setterington has twice qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary in the 100-meter hurdles and ranks seventh all-time outdoors with a lifetime-best of 13.43. Zagre (8.21) and Setterington (8.45) also rank second and sixth on FSU’s indoor 60-meter hurdle top 10 list.
Hon joined the Noles in 2013-14 after spending 13 formative years at the University of Cincinnati as both a record-setting student-athlete and an assistant coach.
A Cincinnati native, Hon spent seven seasons as an assistant with the Bearcats, directing the hurdlers and sprinters, including his last two as the recruiting coordinator for the program. His second season as the recruiting coordinator saw him land four athletes ranked among the top 10 nationally in their respective events.
That recruiting experience carried over to the Seminole brand as he played a role in helping FSU land the top-ranked 2014 men’s recruiting class, according to Track & Field News. Florida State’s most recent women’s class was also ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
Hon’s vast experience coaching the hurdles is well-documented. He was instrumental in developing 2008 Olympic silver medalist David Payne and multi-time All-American Terrence Sommerville in the 110-meter hurdles during his days at Cincinnati. Sommerville won his third consecutive Big East title in 2013 and earned Great Lakes Region Track Performer of the Year. A 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier, Sommerville also holds the Cincinnati, Big East and Drake Relays records in the 110 hurdles.
In all, UC hurdlers established 12 school records under Hon’s guidance. He also mentored Big East 100-meter champion John Bowie, a fourth-round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders, and put together UC’s school-record 4×100 relay team. On the women’s side, he helped Monica Hundley claim the 2008 Big East Indoor title in the 60-meter hurdles.
Prior to coaching, Hon enjoyed a record-setting collegiate experience as a hurdler with the Bearcats. The one-time Cincinnati record-holder in the 60-meter hurdles, he qualified for the 2004 and 2008 US Olympic Trials in the 110-meter hurdles. He was the MVP of the 2001 Bearcats squad after capturing the Conference USA title in the 400-meter hurdles.
A 2002 Cincinnati graduate with a degree in criminal justice, he is married to the former Grace Murdock. They are the proud parents of a son, Zachary.