Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Remembering Peter Brewer this Sunday

1. An informal Peter Brewer memorial run is happening this Sunday at noon at Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley.  Sounds like the plan is to run on the cross-country course. If the gate to the school is locked, people will park in the neighborhood nearby and hike in.

2. A get-together is happening on Sunday at 2pm at Calicraft in Walnut Creek to honor Peter with ceremonial drinking of beer by coach colleagues and former athletes.

Jack Shepard's HS All-Time Track and Field booklet

My annual reminder that if you want to purchase Jack Shepard's booklet for $15, it is available and you can have it in your hands within one week. Inside the booklet, you will find all the top indoor and outdoor marks from the 2021 season as well as the all-time national marks for indoor and outdoor Track and Field. If you love stats, get this ASAP (sample below for all-time mile list). Well worth the price.

High School Track 2022 (covering the 2021 season) is available.  The price is $15.00.  Make a check or money order payable to Jack Shepard, 14551 Southfield Dr., Westminster, CA  92683

Jack was inducted in the National HS Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2019. This is the introduction video for his induction.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Peter Brewer, Castro Valley HS Hall of Famer

Bumping this to the top. This article was posted on February 14, 2018.
You can also check out my interview with Peter Brewer in 2008 at this link:

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Former Castro Valley, Northgate and Alhambra coach Peter Brewer passed away this morning

Some very sad news to pass along. I will share more later. In the meantime, if you have any fond memories of coach Brewer, please share them in the comment section below. RIP Peter.

Here is my interview with Peter from 2008...

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Free Coaching Webinar - Damon Martin - Adams State

On Thursday (2/17), Head Coach Damon Martin of Adams State will be presenting a free webinar on Practical Tips, Tools & Concepts for Distance Running.  The session will be at 10am Pacific Time.  See the link below to sign up:

Thursday, February 10, 2022

17 Inches

I promised myself years ago, every time I saw this I would re-post. Rings true EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.... Here goes!!!

Most people won't take the time to read this all the way to the end. I hope that you will. 👇 17 INCHES" - you will not regret reading this an excellent article to read from beginning to end. Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention. While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.” Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there. In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy? After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally … “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer. “That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause. “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach. “That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?” “Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident. “You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?” “Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison. “Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”............“Seventeen inches!” “RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues? “Seventeen inches!” “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.'” Pause. “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? " The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We just widen the plate!” Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?” Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.” “And the same is true with our government. Our so-called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.” I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path. “If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: "If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …” With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.” Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches." And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it! "Don't widen the plate."

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Former University HS (SF) runner wins gold medal at the Olympics in Freestyle Skiing

Saturday, February 05, 2022

Great Running Vlog (Check it out!)

If you are interested in learning more about the sports of Cross Country and Track and Field, check out the Running Vlog linked below. It's run by Lance Retz who is an 8th grader in Illinois. His dad is a highly successful coach at St. Joseph Ogden HS which was featured in the book, "Consistency is Key" by Jay Johnson. At the following link, you will find many interviews that I am positive will be enjoyed by athletes and coaches alike. They include interviews with Olympian Andrew Wheating, Coach Jay Johnson, former Stanford runner Chris Derrick, Coach John O'Malley, and many more.

Here is the latest video with Plainfield North Coaches Andy Derks and Tony Holler. Holler is famous for his "Feed the Cats" program.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Wildwood Running this weekend at University HS (Sign up now)

Wildwood Running is hosting a clinic this weekend on February 5th & 6th in the Bay Area. Wildwood Running was created by two longtime runners and now coaches (Marie Davis Markham and Robyn McGillis) in Portland, Oregon to support, teach, empower and connect young female distance runners. This clinic will support coaches and athletes to understand how to support female runners during middle school and high school, an important time in their life. 

Wildwood Running has hosted multiple clinics and camps, some virtual and some in person. This is the first time they are taking a clinic on the road. With co-host Carin Marrs of SF University HS, they have created a lineup focused on topics that will honor each female runner's individual journey touching on their unique differences to males as well as their changing bodies.

Winter is the perfect time to regroup and add skills to your toolkit and walk away motivated. Wildwood will bring experts in mental health, nutrition, positive mindset, female physiology, and more together for a one-day coaches clinic followed by a one-day athlete clinic.  

February 5, 2022 - COACH CLINIC: 9am - 4pm

Kara Bazzi - Relationship to Food

Chuck Woolridge - Coaching girls vs boys

Deborah Munch - Mindset Skills

Emily Kraus - Periods, Puberty, RED-S

Carin Marrs - Team Culture

February 6, 2022 - ATHLETE CLINIC:  9am - 4pm

Kara Bazzi - Relationship to Food

Deborah Munch - Mindset Skills

Emily Kraus/Abby McIntyre - Periods, Puberty, RED-S

Robyn McGillis/Julia Green - Team Culture/Leadership

Marie Davis Markham - Girls Talk

Dena Evans - Expert Coach

Location: San Francisco University HS: 3065 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Tickets: Coaches: $85 for first 20 tickets sold ($95 after) // Athletes: $80

Scholarships are available upon request. We have three full-price scholarships available for athletes. Send an email to as to why you or your athlete should be considered for the scholarship. We can also support partial scholarships. Just reach out to us.

Registration and more information are available at

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