It is hard to say a coach at HS is better than another because most coach who they are given by the demographics of their area. Other coaches recruit talent, and they look great, but they are not. A true measure of a coach goes beyond who has the fastest kids and wins the most championships. The real factor is how well kids develop in their program, how many of their kids improve in college, and how many of them still love running years after college or HS racing ends.
Bill Miles had a massive amount of success when it comes to results.
Bill Miles is a man of honor and high integrity. His kids would die for him; he placed an emphasis on making sure every one of the 100+ kids on his team would be valued. He didn't place an emphasis on making kids better runners; that was just a by-product of helping them become better people. Wayzata's dominance wasn't just at the top end; a normal year at Wayzata would produce over 30 sub-5:00 milers. The entire culture was (and still is) about a full team, not just a scoring 7.
Any coach who places an emphasis on results, or only wants to coach a handful of kids "that are willing to work hard" at a high school when the FIRST goal should be to get more kids to participate - NOT only coach the kids that are willing to put in the work - is not a good HS coach, no matter what their results. You can coach amazing teams without turning kids away.
I mean it depends on what you mean. Who gets the kids to run fastest in high school or gets the kids set up to run fastest over their lifespan.
Also, as long as a coach isn't jeopardizing a kids health, do they really need to "save their legs for college?" Less than 3% of high school xc runners will run in college and even most of them won't run for a full 4-5 years.
Oh I agree. My high school coach I would put up there as "one of the greats," but coming from - not such a large high school (but then having to compete against the large schools - at that time, there were only two divisions in track & XC, now there are 3) they just can't compete with the bigger schools that have a larger population to draw from. but consistently sending individuals to state, here and there a team (back then it was harder to qualify for the state meet, unfortunately. Like I said, they only had two divisions as well - the medium-sized schools got a bit squeezed having to always compete with the largest suburban schools). Also, he had success with both girls & boys teams.
Edit: When I was in high school, every other year they would send a boys or girls XC team to the state meet. but like I said, back then it was harder to qualify as there were just two divisions - the medium-sized schools got "squeezed" Now there are three divisions, which is better.
Edit2: ALSO, I had this coach right before he retired: maybe this isn't true for all coaches, but at that point, he had *perfected his craft* haha. He made all of his mistakes with his teams years prior - namely, he had workouts that were *too hard* back then, imo.
By the time I had him as a coach, he had figured out a formula that worked for high school athletes: hard but not too hard. Challenging, but you gotta have some fun with it, too.
This post was edited 13 minutes after it was posted.
Sean Brosnan couldn't hold a candle to the late Joe Newton of York Community HS, Elmhurst, IL. There will never be another coach like Coach Newton- 28 state titles under his leadership, never a finish lower than 8th over 50 years and that was a fluke.
Exactly. He was a good HS coach, but he couldn’t coach a normal talent to these times, or even to like 9:00/14:30 for a track 5k. I think the Youngs and Sahlmans would run like 8:55 on normal coaching.
Naperville North, Dan Iverson, has done a good job with the girl's team. He has coached for a while, he's a blurb about him Some of the female Naperville North runners do quite well in college, too. These are a couple of Dan Iverson's former runners that I noticed recently, performing well in college as well.