Behnke will serve as the assistant coach for cross country and track and field
J.P. Behnke begins his ninth season with the Oakland cross country and track and field coaching staffs. Behnke works primarily with the sprinters and middle distance runners in track and field. He is also USATF Level II certified in jumping events, hurdles, sprints and relays.
Behnke was a three-year track standout at Lake Superior State, setting school records in the 800 meter run for both indoor and outdoor. He was twice named All-GLIAC in the 800M. Prior to attending LSSU, Behnke was at Lansing Community College where he was a part of the Stars' NJCAA National Championship cross country team in 1998. He was also the NJCAA Super Regional champion in the 800M in 1999, as well as an NJCAA All-American in the 800M and the 4x800M relay.
At Oakland, Behnke has coached numerous successful athletes including Jason Bigelow, who recorded a Summit League conference record and a 23rd place finish in the 1500m at the 2010 NCAA outdoor national track meet. He also led the men's distance medley team to back to back Summit League championships and a conference record that same year. Under Coach Behnke, Jeff Aririguzo achieved runner-up finishes in the 100m and 200m dashes at the 2013 Summit League outdoor championship meet. He also coached eight conference championship performances.
The Macomb Township resident graduated from Lake Superior State in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in recreation management. He then went on to earn his master's degree in health science from St. Francis University in Loretta, Pa. He helped guide Macomb Community College to a 13th place finish at the NJCAA nationals in 2006 as the assistant cross country coach while also serving as an assistant coach with the indoor track and field program at Macomb. Behnke has also done a two-year stint as the varsity track coach at Warren Fitzgerald (2004-2006).