Thought for the Day

Friday, September 10, 2010

Coach Milam

I was just informed that Coach Rick Milam, who was my high school cross country coach, recently passed away due to a series of events. He had been fighting cancer for 8 months, and it had greatly weakened him. While driving, he apparently had a heart attack and subsequently an accident. He had another heart attack in the hospital and passed away.
I hadn't seen Coach Milam since a race in the '80s where he was race director. Although he was very busy that day, I was able to get over to see him before the race. He shook my hand and seemed to be glad to see me and curious about what I had been up to.
After coaching successfully at the high school level, Rick Milam went on to work in the field of Sports Psychology. He worked with many college and professional teams.
He was a fixture in Bay Area Track and Field, organizing meets and races, and working as an official at everything he could fit into his schedule.
He was a great coach. He worked us hard, but no one disliked him. We had fun running for him.
Coach Milam will always be connected in my mind to the onset of my type 1 diabetes. It was during my second year on the cross country team that I started to show serious symptoms. I'm sure the coach was wondering what was going on with me as I slowed down and seemed to get in worse shape rather than better as training continued.
I will always be thankful to Coach Milam that he never hesitated to encourage me to get back on the team and continue to run when I got out of a week in the hospital. Who knows how I could have turned out if he had a different, more cautious attitude.

A memorial service for Coach Rick Milam will be held in the Los Gatos gym on Sunday, Sept. 19 from 2-4 p.m.


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1 comment:

T1FloatHammerSprint said...

Hey Jerry, really good post. We all had that coach that seemly "changed" us and made us a better person, people that we will never ever forget, mine was Coach Hartman. I hope everyone had a coach like that.