2012 Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year Paul Raley

Benton High School - Benton, WI

Number of years coaching: 31 years coaching high school Track and Field.

At a glance: In the 1980’s, Coach Paul Raley lead a strong track program at Benton High School before leaving to pursue other job opportunities. The program that he championed eventually folded, so when he retired from teaching he returned to Benton High School to revive the program that he loved so dearly. For the first four years, he funded the program on his own and continues to work for free as the volunteer head coach. Now as he faces his own personal medical struggles, he continues to coach as much as possible, so he can pass his joy of running and coaching advice onto his athletes.

 

What piece of advice does Coach Raley give an athlete having a bad day to inspire them?
The first thing I try and do is find something positive to tell them. Athletes can read body language, so stay upbeat. They will look to his/her coach for support immediately, so being positive is the way to start. I then try and calm them down and and give them confidence and support. In this day and age where "touching" can be frowned on, I still give hugs, high fives, and pats on the back where needed! We all have hurdles in our lane or path of life. Some of these hurdles are bigger than others that we have to get over, and just because we tried, it doesn't always mean that there will be a positive outcome. I stress with my athletes that one can't go around these, they must attack them head on! This applies to school, family, friends, and sports. If they prepare themselves and have confidence in their abilities and teammates good things will happen in the end! There will always be another race to race! So, let's get'em next time!

What makes Coach Raley Run Happy?
Knowing that running improved our physical conditioning, health,and overall well being! My whole family enjoys being outside in the woods, in the lake, on trails, or inthe mountains as much as possible. Running, biking, walking, lifting weights, and swimming are a big part of our family's routine!

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