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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome New Coaches to Happy Valley

The Penn State Track and Field team has 2 new coaches with the hires of Patrick Ebel and Kevin Kelly.  Of course, my first question to them is, "Can you golf?"  (Remember, I really can't!)

Patrick Ebel is coming from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he built a Division III powerhouse.  He will become the new Throws Coach, something I know nothing about but enjoy all the same. The Univ. of Wisconsin system is really quite extraordinary.  I spent a month at a hospital in LaCrosse during my school years, where Patrick was an undergrad.  During my January stint there the temperature never rose above 10 degrees Fahrenheit.*  One run I took was at 23 degrees below zero.  I ran across the Mississippi River into Iowa just to say I had been there. To my horror at learning it, Patrick started at LaCrosse after my month-long stay was complete!  I'm old and tired, old and tired...

Kevin Kelly is coming from Rutgers and will become the new Horizontal and Vertical Jumps Coach.  I also know nothing much about them either, other than high jumpers seem to be very good at making music. Rutgers was the scene of my greatest achievement for PSU Track, third place in the Coach's Conference 10000 M Run in 1980, the only year of existence of the conference dreamed up by Joe Paterno.  My third place effort garnered 6 points for the Champion Nittany Lions and a rebuke from Coach Groves for not getting first or second!**  Kevin was an All-American decathlete while at Kutztown University, an event near and dear to my heart.  I've never known a decathlete who couldn't golf...

* I'm not making that up.  And some day I'll tell the story of the burning headless body that greeted me on my way from the airport to the hospital..

** Actually Coach Groves told me I was a part of the female anatomy after falling off the leaders pace with 2 laps remaining.  In retrospect, he was 100% correct.  I should have won.  It was the same scenario I had at States in High School and I failed to take advantage.

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