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Nice run coach Bravin

November 5, 2010 - Erik Brown
How much passion does it take to coach for thirty-two years? How much time, energy, patience, perseverance, and love does it take? At the conclusion of last Wednesday’s cross country practice, with no fanfare or press conference, Bill Bravin told his 2010 squad of his intention to retire from the position he’s held for the past thirty-two years – Head Coach of the Hollidaysburg Golden Tigers XC Teams.

Last Saturday, while we waited for the start of the D6 AAA boys’ race, Coach Bravin told me he’s taken 17 runners (8 boys and 9 girls) to the PIAA State XC Meet over the course of his career. Being a number cruncher by trade, that got me thinking about some of the other numbers that one would compile over a thirty-two year coaching career. Here’s what I came up with. Some of these are actual, some are estimates:

*All State runners: 2 (Dave Maher, 14th in 1985 and Mike Umbleby, 10th in 1990)

*PIAA State Qualifiers: 17 (including Mike Umbleby and Sarah McMillan who each qualified 3 times, and Chris Noal, Nate Sylvester and Ashley Ott who each qualified twice)

*Cross country meets coached: 405 boys meets (record 233-172) and 396 girls meets (record 242-154), plus all the invitationals and District 6 meets over a 32 year career.

*Golden Tigers coached: close to 1,000

*Practice hours logged: approximately 2,500

*Runners hosted from visiting schools: more than 3,000

*Miles the Golden Tigers logged at team practices and meets: well over 200,000!

*Lives touched: countless

Coach Bravin has a number of sayings he uses to keep his runners focused and motivated. The one I’ll remember goes like this: “Summer miles bring autumn smiles”. Thanks for all the smiles coach!

Against The Wind Kudos to this year’s District 6 Champions


AA Girls - Angel Piccirillo, Homer Center, 17:56

AA Boys – Alex Woodrow, Marion Center, 16:19

AAA Girls – Tatum DelBosco, State College, 19:27

AAA Boys – Wade Endress, Altoona, 15:37

JV Girls – Hannah Catalano, State College, 20:51

JV Boys – Kyle Adams, State College, 17:29

Teams / Coaches

AA Girls - Central Cambria (PIAA State XC Champions for the last three years), Randy Wilson

AA Boys – Central Cambria, Randy Wilson

AAA Girls – State College, Rebecca Donaghue

AAA Boys – Altoona, Lee Baranik

Also noteworthy - A.J. Kelly from Altoona finished 15th overall in a field of 30,000 at the Marine Corps Marathon last Sunday. A.J.’s time was 2:38:28.

Thanks for reading Against The Wind. Run fast today!

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Blog Photos

Coach Bravin enjoys a reunion with two-time PIAA State qualifier, Ashley Ott and her Dad Ed.