Friday, June 28, 2013

Stepping Down as CHS Coach

It is with sincere sadness that I am telling everyone that I am stepping down as a coach at Chaparral HS. I met with Coach Bowman this morning, and I told him that I simply cannot coach to the level that I think the position demands. I want to see my family more, I want to be able to dedicate more to my science teaching, and I want to be able to pursue some personal goals I have. I feel coaching is a service to the athletes, and if a coach cannot dedicate themselves fully and give the best service possible, than that opportunity should be given to someone else. I am sure Coach Bowman and the administration at Chaparral will find a coach who is ten times better than me, and that is a good thing. The athletes who commit themselves to distance track deserve only the best.

I thought about coaching in a reduced role, whether it was as a JV developmental coach, or dropping down to 2 days a week, or only going to half of the meets, and I realized it just wouldn't work for a couple of reasons. One, distance kids need a full time coach, it is just the nature of distance running.  Two, I could never do something only halfway. Over the years, I have turned head/distance coaching into a seven day a week affair. Even on Sundays, I would spend 3 hours crunching training numbers, prepping for the upcoming week, working on administrative stuff. I am no different from the head coaches at Castle Rock or ThunderRidge, or anywhere else, it is what it is. But, it just got to be too much for me to be able to handle. If I was single with no kids, it would be a different story. To be honest though, at this phase of my life, I would rather be out on the ski trails with Chloe than sitting in front of a computer screen trying to make sure the Wednesday interval sessions would be absolutely perfect. As I said before, I truly feel if I cannot offer that level of dedication and commitment to a group of dedicated and committed athletes, than I should not be the coach.

I want to say thanks to all of the coaches I have worked with over the years, everyone has taught me so much. Mr. Thompson, thanks for supporting me and having my back all these years. Coach Hawk, thanks for giving an unknown smartass a chance ten years ago to coach at a bigtime 5A school. Coach Thomas, thanks for giving me a whole new perspective on how to coach kids. Coach Bowman, thanks for turning this program into the powerhouse it is today. Thanks Coach Boymel, for bringing so many new ideas to my brain. Thanks Coach Maroney, for being not only one of my best friends, but the one guy I trust explicitly with everything I do. Mrs. Whipple, thanks for helping me with anything and everything under the sun. You made my life infinitely easier, and I am eternally grateful for that. Coach Laster, thanks for simply being the best distance coach out there. We did a lot together my friend, maybe someday in the future we can do it all again. And thanks to the incredible coaching staff I have gotten to work with the past few years. Harris, Able, Lib, Hartman, Bowman, Hawk, and Maroney, that is the best coaching staff in CHS T&F history, hands down. Everyone had each other's backs and everyone made sure the athlete was put first. Just an awesome staff that I am so sad to leave.  I can honestly say that every coach I worked with was an excellent coach, and it was an honor to stand next to them on Saturdays.

Of course, I also want to thank all of the athletes who I have gotten the chance to train. From the seniors way back in 2003 to the super fast freshman class this past spring, it has been a dream come true to be able to work with all of you, and the experience of the past ten years has made me into such a better person. It is winning I will miss the most, not just winning state titles though. When you guys would win any race, whether it was varsity, JV or time trial; when you would set new PR's; when you would qualify for State; when you would slingshot someone to get them at the line; when you would do that one extra interval on a Monday practice; when you would come back to the high school in the dark because you just did your longest overdistance run of the year, that is "winning". Going above and beyond what you thought possible, being a part of that and witnessing that; that is what I will miss the most. It's cliche, but I hope I taught you all that losing is simply not an option. If you play, you must strive to win. You won't win every time, for sure, but when you do win, it is the best feeling in the world. It makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it. Thanks for giving me those thrills everyone, I treasure those feeling and memories so so much.

I am sad to leave, but I know this is for the best for everyone involved. I wish everyone reading this a successful cross country season, and an even better spring track season. Stay in touch, I will still be coaching the little kids back at Sierra, so if you are ever in the neighborhood, come on by and say "hi".




Steveo said...

It was an honor to be coached by you for 6 years. What you gave to the program at CHS is not measurable in hours or even championships. You gave your entire heart and soul. You created a serious force in 5A track and field in one of the most respected states in the US. No one can ever repay you for what you have done.

I am sad to see you leave as a coach, but proud of your decision as a dad. Chloe and Reid have an amazing role model to look up to. I know it is just a matter of a few short years before they are hoisting up a trophy of some kind above their head.

After a long break from coaching, when Chloe and Reid are off at college on XC ski scholarships at UNH, and you are looking for what is next... I will always believe that your next adventure is a college level XC/Track coach. But we can save that conversation for later :)

Congrats on a surreal 10 years. Very proud of you.

Your life long friend,


Kelsey Dutton said...

Sep, I don't have the words the express how honored I feel to have run for you. The work, hours, and dedication you have put in to the programs at Sierra and Chap stretch far beyond the middle and high school years. The impact you've had is immeasurable. All I can say is thank you. For everything.