The belief for authoritative this account is as follows: an absorbing account of successes, no recruiting of athletes, the adeptness to advance an absolute roster, getting advanced of their time (an innovator), and allowance boys abound into bigger men for the blow of their lives (also accepted as abrogation a mark on all those he or she coached). After added ado:
1) Harry Johnson, Arch Boy’s Clue & Acreage coach, South Eugene Top School, Eugene, Oregon 1971-1977- Seven Accompaniment Championships.
When Drillmaster Johnson (who was anon accepted throughout the accompaniment as artlessly “Harry”) took over the clue affairs at SEHS they had never won a accompaniment clue & acreage championship in the school’s history. Alone one top academy in Eugene had anytime won a accompaniment appellation in clue & field, their battling North Eugene top academy ten years earlier. Harry’s teams won the accompaniment appellation his aboriginal year and every year afterwards acceptable seven beeline accompaniment championships. His athletes set National annal in the decathlon, steeplechase, 6-mile and 10,000 beat run, ambit assortment broadcast and the four-mile broadcast (the endure of which still stands to this day).
Despite the actuality that few division-1 scholarships were accessible in the action of clue and field, Harry’s athletes becoming added abounding scholarships to aloft universities than any of the state’s added schools, every individual year. This included all the aloft sports (Football, Basketball, and Baseball) that had abounding added scholarships available.
As absorbing as the statistics listed aloft are, a lot of of what fabricated Harry abundant was not as calmly quantifiable. How did he administer to actualize such abutting bonds a part of assorted aggregation associates in a action of individuals? How did he administer to accomplish every affiliate of the aggregation feel important in the all-embracing success of the program? How did he accumulate seniors aggravating to breach 5 account in the mile motivated on a aggregation that had assorted runners appetite to breach four account in the mile?
I don’t apperceive the acknowledgment to these questions, but I do apperceive that he bedevilled the one affection I accept apparent afresh and afresh in coaches/leaders that excel at the able levels. He somehow got you to buy into his action and accord yourself over to something bigger than you. In accomplishing so, he aswell begin a way to accomplish harder plan fun. He didn’t consistently accept the best athletes but he never put any burden on his athletes.
He was way advanced of his time mentally as well. He rarely talked about acceptable and focused on preparation, alive that if you able able-bodied you would be airy and assured if the meets came. You rarely saw his athletes bound or nervous. While added team’s athletes were “psyching themselves up” to race/compete, Harry’s were apart and accepting fun. They looked at aggregate as an opportunity, which kept the anticipation of abeyant failures a actor afar away.
I don’t apperceive if the afterward was by architecture or not (and I asked Harry and he would not accept to it if it was), but Harry’s teams wore altered atramentous sweats (except for the school’s name on the aback which was in academy colors: amethyst & white). So while his athletes were advancing for their contest (unencumbered mentally) a lot of of their competitors were absent with addition out what the altered atramentous sweats signified.
Some of the top performers were in dejected sweats, others were in orange, black, red, blooming or burgundy. Some in anniversary blush were seniors, but others were juniors and sophomores. It was ambagious to outsiders and appeared to accept no beat or reason, but that didn’t stop athletes from added schools advancing up with a aggregation of believable reasons. The absoluteness was absolutely simple; anybody got to accept whatever blush they wanted, starting with seniors, until a blush ran out.
Though Harry was best in accompaniment championships during his tenure, his teams did lose a brace of duel-meets over the years. Harry calmly could accept won all of them too, but he would blow abounding athletes to accord beneath able athletes a adventitious to appear through, and they usually did. This aswell helped in their development traveling forward.
However, there was one barring to this strategy. Harry abhorred cheating and there was a accurate academy with a acceptability for recruiting athletes abroad from added schools. If his aggregation faced off with that school, Harry would amount up all his top athletes and about shut that academy out from scoring every time. I accept that’s alleged sending a message.
2) Harry Johnson, Arch Boy’s Gymnastics coach, South Eugene Top School, Eugene, Oregon 1963-1972- Ten Accompaniment Championships.
Harry started alive at South Eugene top academy appropriate out of academy as an abettor drillmaster with the football team. Anon after, they asked him if he capital to drillmaster their cast new gymnastics team. Accepting no antecedent acquaintance with gymnastics at any level, but not one to aback down from a new challenge, he said yes.
The blow is history as this was area Harry developed his apprenticeship appearance and administration qualities arch the aggregation to the accompaniment appellation every year afore dispatch down.
3) Harry Johnson, Arch Boy’s Cross Country coach, South Eugene Top School, Eugene, Oregon 1970-1977- Eight Accompaniment Championships.
This calmly could accept been the amount one atom for Harry, as this above football brilliant and drillmaster took a affection to a agglomeration of angular ambit runners and fabricated them men. The alone acumen I awarded his job as clue & acreage drillmaster amount one was the arduous amount of assorted humans he was able to accompany calm as one.
That said, he was apparently a lot of broadly accepted for the job he did developing middle-distance and ambit runners, and he did it after overloading them with annihilative top breadth like abounding acknowledged top academy coaches did at the time. However, a lot of top academy teams in America don’t accept an best almanac in the mile as fast as 4:12. Harry able 5 of his milers to bests of beneath 4:10, two active beneath 4:05 in his too abbreviate time as arch drillmaster there.
Harry angry down abundant opportunities to drillmaster aloft academy Clue and Cross Country programs, but eventually an befalling too acceptable to canyon up came along. The cipher sports aggregation accepted as Nike absitively to alpha a aboriginal of its affectionate clue aggregation to advice post-collegiate athletes alternation for the Olympics and Nike co-founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman agreed that Harry Johnson was the man to advance that team, which became accepted as Athletics West.
Who knows how abounding added championships Harry would accept won and lives he would accept affected had he backward longer? What is accepted is that the ability and some of the athletes he larboard abaft for his successors, won addition eight accompaniment titles in the 5 years afterward his departure.
For anyone apprehensive why I fabricated him top 1, 2 and 3 on this list? The acknowledgment is two-fold: 1) Just giving him the top atom didn’t assume like abundant for his aberancy and 2) I accept an abhorrence to lists and awards in general, as they are consistently subjective, so I ample why not?
“The aberration amid accustomed and amazing is that little extra.” • Jimmy Johnson
You can chase Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc