Friday, April 02, 2010

Prep notes: Mountain View track team has new coach, high hopes

To say the Mountain View track and field head coaching job was thrown in Steve Kemp's lap may be stretching it a bit. But, it's not far from the truth. One week after he was hired as an assistant, then head coach Evan Smith offered Kemp the top job.
"Maybe coach Smith was burned out coaching both boys and girls," said Kemp, 56. "He just told me he was going to quit and asked me if I wanted the job."
Kemp, in his first high school coaching job, isn't just some guy off the street who took the job on a whim. He's a three-time World Masters champion, winning the 100-meter hurdles in Puerto Rico in 2003, the decathlon in Japan in 1993 and the pentathlon in Eugene, Ore., in 1998.
A native Canadian, Kemp came to the South Bay to train for the 1980 Olympics as a decathlete.
"There were world-class throwers everywhere you went," Kemp said. "I just hung around with them. The all-comers meet in Los Gatos had some great athletes back then."
Kemp, born in Belleville, Ontario, returned to Canada and won the decathlon at the Canadian Olympic Trials. However, Canada and the United States joined more than 60 countries in a boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow.

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