Velma-Alma High School - Velma, OK
Number of years coaching:20 years of coaching both Cross Country and Track and Field
At a glance: In the last 20 years, Coach Jerry Loveall has brought new life to the Velma-Alma track and cross country programs. He consistently purchases shoes and gear for students who cannot afford them , is the first to offer transportation and always keeps five dollar bills in his pocket for students who need money for food after track meets or practices. This year, the community was rocked when one of Loveall’s runners was brutally murdered. During that difficult period, Coach Loveall brought the team and community together in honor of their fallen teammate. He is a respected and compassionate coach whose love for running and his athletes is always evident.
What piece of advice does Coach Loveall give an athlete having a bad day to inspire them?
This greatly depends on the runner. Every day is a new day. We all will have some bad ones, but getting up and performing well the next time is what matters. I try to point out to the students that as disappointed as they are at that moment, they have another chance to perform and they have to ask themselves “did I do the best at this time and this day that I possibly could? If yes, then we just have to put it behind us and look forward. If not, then we need to try and figure out why? What was the outside factor and work on correcting it for the next time.
What makes Coach Loveall Run Happy?
What makes the run fun for me is going on a long run with these kids and knowing that they WANT to do it. Not the ones that do it because they have to, but running with those that run because they want to be there running as a group. Also, speaking with past students who started running with me and finding out that they have carried the running into their adult lives and have made it a part of their lifestyle.