Now in his fifth overall year at UC Davis, Chris Puppione takes over as the head coach for both cross country teams during the 2008 season. He spent the previous two seasons as the men's coach and Associate Director of Cross Country.
Additionally, Puppione continues his role as distances coach for the Aggie track & field teams during the spring season. He served his first two years as an assistant to Jason Jaques with the two cross country teams.
During his two-year tenure, Puppione has guided four women and eight men to All-Div. I Independent honors. Additionally, Will Merchad earned Academic All-America distinction for the 2004-05 athletics year.
Puppione previously coached cross country at Amador Valley HS in Pleasanton, guiding the girls' team to a North Coast Section runner-up finish and a sixth-place showing at the state meet in 2004. Puppione also mentored several All-EBAL and CIF-NCS qualifiers for the track teams.
Previously, Puppione coached boys' soccer and both cross country and track programs at Paraclete, Cardinal Newman and Ursuline high schools from 1998 to 2003. He guided cross country teams to top-three section and top-10 state finishes three times. In the spring, Puppione coached numerous 800, mile and two-mile competitors to CIF-NCS championship berths.
Puppione was a two-time state qualifier as a prep athlete in his hometown of Castro Valley, Calif. He later ran cross country at Long Beach State before transferring to Sonoma State. Puppione earned his B.A. in creative writing from SSU in 1997.