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Dana Hills assistant cross country coach Jim Copp was named the Southern Section assistant coach of the year by the California Coaches Association. Photo: Courtesy

Dana Point Times

Jim Copp, a longtime assistant for the Dana Hills High School boys and girls cross country programs, was named the Southern Section assistant coach of the year for the fall by the California Coaches Association.

Copp has been a fixture on the Dolphins’ coaching staff since the 1999 season and has resided over some of the most successful teams in school, county and state history.

Copp was an assistant for the 2008 Dana Hills girls cross country team that won both the CIF-SS and CIF State Championship.

Since joining the boys team as an assistant, the Dolphins have won eight South Coast League championships, six Orange County Championships, three CIF-SS titles and three CIF State Championships. The Dolphins have also advanced to the prestigious Nike Cross National meet five times since Copp joined the staff.

In 2016, the Dolphins won the South Coast League, placed second in both the CIF-SS Division 1 and CIF State Division 1 Championships, and placed 14th at the Nike Cross Nationals.

In all, Copp, a former Army Ranger and Ironman triathlon finisher, has 26 years of experience coaching at the high school level, where has also taught baseball, wrestling, and track and field.

Copp’s name will now be submitted for both the CCA’s Southern California assistant of the year and state-wide assistant of the year honors.

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