Thanks Coach Craddock
08/22/2019 1:12:29 PM
Coach
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Joined: May 2009
Posts: 49
On Saturday, August 17, 2019, I attended the memorial service for Coach Dennis Craddock. As most of you know, Coach Craddock was the long-time Head Track and Field Coach at UNC-Chapel Hill and before that at the University of Virginia. The service was a celebration of his life as a coach, family man, and humanitarian and numerous former athletes, college, and high school coaches were in attendance. While there was much talk of his legendary career as a college coach, I and other "old heads" remember his contribution to high school track and field in North Carolina. I started coaching Indoor Track at Southern Nash High School in 1993 and spent many weekends at meets at the legendary "Tin Can" at UNC-Chapel Hill. Decades before the outstanding facility at JDL Fast Track, the epicenter of Indoor Track in the state was the "Tin Can". This was the facility known for the wooden boards and metal hasps that connected sections of the track and the facility that had to be converted from the configeration to run sprint races to oral races. It was a facility where aggressive racing was the norm, where it was not uncommon for runners to find themselves knocked in the infield. On at least one occasion, I witnessed two athletes who stopped racing and began fighting towards the end of the race because of the contact between the two during the race. Some of the best times of my coaching career were spent in the "Tin Can" on Fridays with events often ending around midnight and then returning for an all day and early evening session on Saturday. Numerous coaches and athletes honed their crafts and skills at these meets. Coach Craddock's support for opening the facility to us and its replacement was critical to the growth and success of Indoor Track and track and field, in general, in North Carolina. I found it increasingly ironic that I won my third and final State Championship at the "new Tin Can" in 2012 at Southeast Guilford, the year that Coach Craddock retired. I had the opportunity on several occasions since his retirement to have conversations with Coach Craddock when Southeast Guilford participated in the Dennis Craddock Carolina Relays at UNC-Chapel Hill during the Outdoor Track season. He was always gracious and I, and I am sure, other coaches expressed their thanks for the role he played in helping to make North Carolina one of the top track states in the nation. He and members of his staff were staples at the North Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Clinic for many years. Whether you are an "old head" like me or relatively new to coaching track and field in North Carolina, take a moment in your own way to thank Coach Craddock for his contributions to North Carolina High School Track and Field. Alton E. Tyre, Sr. (Retired) Southeast Guilford High School Track Consultant North Carolina Track and Cross Country Association Region 5 Representative
On Saturday, August 17, 2019, I attended the memorial service for Coach Dennis Craddock. As most of you know, Coach Craddock was the long-time Head Track and Field Coach at UNC-Chapel Hill and before that at the University of Virginia. The service was a celebration of his life as a coach, family man, and humanitarian and numerous former athletes, college, and high school coaches were in attendance. While there was much talk of his legendary career as a college coach, I and other "old heads" remember his contribution to high school track and field in North Carolina. I started coaching Indoor Track at Southern Nash High School in 1993 and spent many weekends at meets at the legendary "Tin Can" at UNC-Chapel Hill. Decades before the outstanding facility at JDL Fast Track, the epicenter of Indoor Track in the state was the "Tin Can". This was the facility known for the wooden boards and metal hasps that connected sections of the track and the facility that had to be converted from the configeration to run sprint races to oral races. It was a facility where aggressive racing was the norm, where it was not uncommon for runners to find themselves knocked in the infield. On at least one occasion, I witnessed two athletes who stopped racing and began fighting towards the end of the race because of the contact between the two during the race. Some of the best times of my coaching career were spent in the "Tin Can" on Fridays with events often ending around midnight and then returning for an all day and early evening session on Saturday. Numerous coaches and athletes honed their crafts and skills at these meets. Coach Craddock's support for opening the facility to us and its replacement was critical to the growth and success of Indoor Track and track and field, in general, in North Carolina. I found it increasingly ironic that I won my third and final State Championship at the "new Tin Can" in 2012 at Southeast Guilford, the year that Coach Craddock retired. I had the opportunity on several occasions since his retirement to have conversations with Coach Craddock when Southeast Guilford participated in the Dennis Craddock Carolina Relays at UNC-Chapel Hill during the Outdoor Track season. He was always gracious and I, and I am sure, other coaches expressed their thanks for the role he played in helping to make North Carolina one of the top track states in the nation. He and members of his staff were staples at the North Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Clinic for many years. Whether you are an "old head" like me or relatively new to coaching track and field in North Carolina, take a moment in your own way to thank Coach Craddock for his contributions to North Carolina High School Track and Field.

Alton E. Tyre, Sr.
(Retired)
Southeast Guilford High School Track Consultant
North Carolina Track and Cross Country Association Region 5 Representative

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