Running has always been an integral part of my life.
During my most competitive years, the challenges of training, racing, and putting forth my best efforts became a positive addiction.
As I get older, less competitive (and slower), I thoroughly enjoy passing on my knowledge of the sport through coaching.
Currently, coaching on the collegiate level, at Penn State Schuylkill campus for the past eight years has been an absolute pleasure. I have been fortunate to coach two state champions, and a one All-American.
A few years ago, I coached the junior high school track team at Pottsville Area High School, in my hometown.
Obviously, my expertise lies in the area of long distance running, but I love coaching sprinters. Secretly, I'm envious of sprinters. Their speed and smoothness is a stark contrast to my plodding style of 'grind it out' distance running.
On of my team members, young man from Pottsville, Anthony Kelly, a sprinter, impressed me with his speed, his positive attitude, and his willingness to learn the sport. He was a standout as a 100 and 200-meter runner, and a member of the 4x100 relay team.
I followed Anthony's high school football and track careers, as he excelled as a sprinter and a wide receiver.. He then went on to become a standout star at tiny Kutztown University, a small college, nestled in the hills of Pennsylvania Dutch country.
Kutztown University has produced several NFL players, most notably Buffalo Bills Pro Bowler, and recent NFL Hall of Fame inductee, Andre Reed.
Over the weekend, Anthony's skills, dedication and work ethic paid off, as he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.
Yesterday, I was honored, as one of his former coaches, to be part of a ceremony celebrating his send-off to Tampa later this week.
Congratulations to this fine young man and his family.
I wish him great success and star-status during his NFL career.