Friday, January 30, 2015

Catching up with James Logan HS XC and TF coach, Lee Webb

Today we chat with one of the most successful coaches in California, James Logan XC and TF coach, Lee Webb. In his 31 years at James Logan, Lee has accumulated 26 NCS girls' Track and Field team championships and 24 NCS boys' Track and Field team championships. He has coached 24 individual state Track and Field champions as well as two state team titles. In Cross Country, James Logan has won 4 NCS team championships, 9 individual champions and one individual state champion. It would be very difficult to find a coach (in any state) that can surpass Lee's accomplishments. He has also done a lot of work with the Special Olympics and is truly one of the class acts in our field.

You can check out the TF school records for James Logan at this link:

1) What was your own experience in sports? What sports did you do in your youth? What did you do outside of your sports experiences that you feel helped you as an athlete? Highlights for you in sports in high school and college?
Did many sports growing up-Cross Country, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Golf and Track and Field. I was All-State in Basketball, Football and Track and Field. 4 Time State Champion. I Went to Southern Oregon State University-Football, Basketball, Track and Field. Finished @ Oregon State University. Drafted by Seattle Seahawks. Olympic Trials Decathlon and Javelin.

2) Who were the coaches that had the biggest impact on you? What did you learn from them that carries over to this day as a coach yourself?
Frank Morris, former Oregon State head Track and Field Coach. He taught the sport and showed the hard work needed to be a Head Coach.

3) How long have you been at James Logan? What was the state of the XC and TF programs when you first started? What changes did you have to make?
31 Years. When we came to James Logan there were 9 girls and 22 boys who were on the team the year before. Many changes were made. We brought enthusiasm to the sport. Made daily announcements, put up posters, encouraged students from all sports and put together a quality coaching staff. I established a track club right away. We had a clinic and camps during the year, went to middle schools and taught all the events in the sport of Track and Field including javelin, hammer, decathlon, steeplechase and race walking.

In Cross Country, there was maybe 15 students on the team when we got to Logan. We started a running club, put fun runs in place in the city, established the club Cross Country team and started a CYO Cross Country team. We do not have a great distance type running community but we seem to keep finding some gems through the programs that are set up.

4) What else do you do at James Logan aside from the coaching? How long have you been involved with that? Highlights?
I work a great deal with Special Olympics, help with parents on the farm in the summer , I have 2 grown-up children, one who had a baby.
I am brand new grandpa. Love to still do all sports.

5) During your time as the James Logan Track and Field coach, what are some of the standout accomplishments by your athletes and teams?
The 2 State Championship teams-boys-2006, Girls 2004, even though the teams that were second in 1995, 1996, and 2004 were better teams-the girls 2004 team was THE DREAM TEAM.

6) What do you feel has been some of the keys to success for your teams? What are absolute necessities that need to be in place for winning programs?
Dedication, promoting the sport every day at school and in the community. Exposing others to the sport with the news, clinics,camps, education of the sport and what the sport can do to help you in all sports.

7) How do you go about juggling all the events and putting a practice plan together for all the athletes and events?
I have learned over time to work with many athletes. For Track and Field, I have many good assistant coaches. but in the off-season and summer, I coach all the events. Doing the decathlon has prepared me to have knowledge in all the events.

8) How long have you coached the cross country team at James Logan? What are your expectations for your kids in the summer? Who have been some of the top distance runners and teams at James Logan?
I have coached Cross country 24 out of my 31 years at Logan. My expectations in the summer is they run. If you want a Good team obviously you have to train.
We have Camps in the summer at Logan and the Cross country team goes in the mountains for a week . They have established their own camp-the alumni and current runners. Here are a few:

Aaron Richberg-1.48.40/4.21 ran the 1600 one time in a dual meet in high school Had a 3.03 split for 1200 meters. 1.47 split on the Sprint Medley-ran down Obea Moore-Auburn
Ghebray Brothers-Giliat-4.12/9.07-Cal and Yosef-4.11/8.52-Cal
John Lockard-1.53-Purdue
Kim Wilkes--11.06-
Mei-Ling McNamara-5.00.25
Mason Hartwell-1.55 Idaho
Marcus Jones -1.53.
Scott McDonald -4.18/1.56-Brown
Jami Hardy-2.11-Howard
Thandi Stewart-2.10-Miami
Jennifer Bridgeman-2.12-Arizona state
Danielle Price-2.12-Arizona
Amihan Agustin-2.14/5.11 UC Riverside
Sarah Perrin-5/06-Cal State East Bay
Sky Baumbach-5.09/2.16 Reno
Bahati Bodden-2.14
Victoria Humphrey-2.14 Sacramento State
Tiffany Monslaud-St. Marys
Matt Cobette-4.19., 1.55 Cal Poly
Daniel Embaye-4.18 Chico St
Abraham Epinoza-4.25-Sac State
Alexandra Newsom-2.19/5.13/11.20 Current
Cristian Monslaud-1.56./4.24 6.22 Steeplechase Current

9) What changes do you feel need to be made for the benefit of cross country and track and field in California?
For the most part I like the way Cross Country works.

Track and Field, I think for our section, the many days of qualifying to get to the State Meet hurts us. Now, we have on 3 spots based on that fact.

10) Heading into another Track and Field season, what continues to motivate you to continue coaching?
I love to work with students. Love to see them improve. Love the challenges to put on events. Love competition and sport in general.

11) What advice would you give a new coach who has aspirations on competing at top level in either cross country and/or track and field?
Takes time takes work and the ultimate dedication.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
There are so many experiences and things that have happened to me and the school since I started coaching. Many athletes represent the US in international competitions, being on 3 USA staffs and currently have up to 300 students on our team for Track and Field and 125 in Cross Country.
We had 12 students from our school who qualified for the last Olympic Track and Field Trials.
I was selected to 2 USA teams

2004 Team NACAC Team
2011 Jumps Coach World Youth Team
2013 Head Coach World Youth Team

There are many many more athletes, experiences to mention-I would need a book!

Thank you very much for your time Lee! AJC

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