David McKannan was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and moved to Huntsville in 1960. His track career began at Mountain Gap Junior High School. The next year he moved on to Grissom High School as it opened for the first time. As a senior at Grissom, David was a member of the 1972 State Cross-Country Championship team from Grissom and the 1973 Indoor and Outdoor 4A 2-Mile State Champion. Both of his Championships were won in record time and his Outdoor 2-Mile record still stands today. David continued his distance running career at Auburn University where he was All-SEC in Indoor and Outdoor Track and Cross Country. During his time at Auburn, he was named Captain of the Track team and Cross Country teams. After graduation from Auburn, David continued his career and became a TFA/USA All-American in the 10,000m. To the question of singling out someone or something that had the greatest impact on his athletic career David answered, "First let me thank God for the abilities He gave to me to be a distance runner, and for five special people He put into my life to help me to find this ability." He continued, "My good friend Hal Cooper inspired me to start running and continued to inspire me as our friendship grew as teammates at Grissom High. Second, our track coach at Mountain Gap Junior High and at Grissom High, John Meals, inspired us to become our best and taught us that we could push ourselves far beyond what we thought we could endure. Third, teammate and Hall of Fame member, Steve Bolt and I worked very hard together, pushing and pulling each other under John Meals' tutelage. Finally, I could not have had the success I had without the support of my parents, Gene and Carolyn McKannan. They were willing to drive us all over the country from Gainesville, Florida, to Searcy, Arkansas, Chicago, Illinois, and many places in between to face the best competition. They gave me the support I needed while raising my four brothers and sisters. There have been many other people in my athletic life that have had great influence on me, but I would not have accomplished what I did without the support these five people gave to me."