Dror Vaknin is in his fifth year as head men's cross country and track coach after spending 17 seasons as an assistant coach with the Spartans.
Prior to coming to the Spartans, Vaknin had two coaching stints at USF, one from 1991-94 and the other from 1996-2000.
As the assistant, Vaknin was in charge of full preparation and coaching for the UT men's cross country team. Under Vaknin, the Tampa men's team has made a transformation into a national contender.
While coaching two-time SSC Runner of the Year Elias Gonzalez (2002-03), Vaknin has coached 17 runners to first-team all-SSC honors and a total of 28 members to league mention. He has also placed 19 runners on the All-South Region team.
The UT men have now appeared in 14 consecutive NCAA South Regional's, including a program-best finish of second in 2007 and 2011. Tampa also advanced to the NCAA Finals for the first time in 2007 and 2011 as it finished 22nd and 24th in the nation respectively.
Aside from coaching at the collegiate level, Vaknin has been a head coach for distance training teams. Since 1992 he has been the head coach for the Progressive Training Team and has held the same position with Team Leukemia since 1994. During his competing days, Vaknin was a stand out runner at both the high school and collegiate level.
In high school he won the Florida High School Cross Country Individual Championship in 1985. Then in 1988 he won the Sun Belt Conference Championship while attending USF. He also became USF’s first NCAA track qualifier in the 10k in 1991. That year he finished 16 th nationally. He is still the 10k record holder at USF with a time of 29:25.
Dror is a graduate from the University of South Florida and a native of Kiriyat Gaf, Israel. He resides in Tampa with his son, Noah.