I have the pleasure of running into my high school coach every time my team has a meet at Haverford (not to mention my college coach as well!). Even though my high school coach is retired, his love for the sport of track and field, and his passion to interact with young people, are things he will never let go. Therefore, he comes to these meets as the starter, the official guy that shoots the gun at the start of each race. But he is much more than that.
He has left quite a legacy behind, both at Overbrook and Central High Schools. All of his athletes can attribute a personality trait, a strength they have, a career aspiration, etc. to being on his team. As we stood in the infield of the track this past Saturday, he told me that he had recently dug up some old records from the cross country seasons during which he coached me (credit robert). The season of my sophomore year (his first year as the cross country coach), we won the Philadelphia Public League Championship for the first time in Central’s history. We continued to win the following three years that I was there, under Coach Rosenfeld.
Rose (as we all called him), then told me a story about an end-of-season banquet that he held in Chinatown (I had graduated). One of the “tough South Philly” guys got up and read a speech, nearly in tears, about how Mr. Rosenfeld had impacted his life, and how this night will be one he’ll never forget.
Mr. Rose turned to look at me and said, “You know, it’s not the times or statistics that matter most, but the relationships I have formed over the years and the impact I have had on kids. That’s what coaching is all about.” And I could not agree more.