Coach wins way into state hall of fame PDF Print E-mail
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Saturday, 25 January 2014 10:46
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Eastwood teacher Gary White stands next to state track trophies. (Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
LUCKEY - Gary White's resume as Eastwood's boys track and field coach was impressive.
The Eagles won Division II state championships in 2009 and 2010, and 13 straight league championships in the Suburban Lakes League and Northern Buckeye Conference.
But when White was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame Friday night, his primary thoughts were on all of the athletes he had coached and the assistant coaches who had helped him.
White retired after the 2011 season after 23 seasons as the Eagles' head coach.
"This isn't an individual award ... it's a tribute to all of the athletes and assistant coaches who worked so hard and were committed to making this program successful," White said.
The Eagles also finished second in the state twice, won two regional championships and five district championships during White's tenure.
"Sure, I like to win as much as anyone," White said. "But in the end, it's about the relationships you form over the years. That's what you remember the most.
"It's really enjoyable when your former athletes come back to a meet or you see them in public, and the relationships I've had with my assistant coaches and so many others in our sport - those are really special to me."
In addition to the success on the track, White enjoyed coaching because of the life lessons he and the other coaches were able to share with their athletes.
"Those are things they'll carry with them throughout their lives," White said. "A lot of what happens in athletics helps you in life."
White came to Eastwood in the spring of 1988 after serving as an assistant varsity football and junior track high coach at Lakota, where he worked under legendary track coach Myron Cline, a 1990 Hall of Fame Inductee.
The Eagles were 1-5 in duals and fourth in the SLL during his first season, but White left after that season to pursue his dream of being a varsity football coach at Columbus Hamilton Township. He was there just one season, returning to Eastwood for the 1990 track season.
And during that time, White realized he preferred coaching track instead of football.
"I thought I was going to be a football coach and it wasn't until I started helping Myron Cline and Gary Scherger that I realized I wanted to be a track coach," White said.
Scherger also is a former head track coach at Lakota.
"I just had a little bit more control of the individuals and the program in track than I did in football, " said White, whose dad, the late Robert White, is a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The Eagles steadily improved under White, finishing third in the SLL in 1994 and 1995 and second in 1996. They finally won their first SLL championship in 1997, and repeated as champions the next two seasons. After finishing second in the SLL in 2002, the Eagles won the final 11 SLL titles.
The Eagles were 177-38-2 in dual meets during White's reign. Now, the Eagles are loaded with talent and depth, thanks to having an increased number of athletes on the team during White's tenure.
White brought a football mentality to track, inspiring his athletes with passion, intensity and aggressiveness. He also stressed the team aspect in a sport that is often regarded as an individual sport.
"What I'm most proud of is the way our kids compete," White said. "We've become a team that people know we're not going to give an inch. Every throw, jump, sprint, we're going to give our best. That's what defines us, how hard our kids are going to compete."
White, who is 56, will retire as a math and computer science teacher at the end of the academic year.  
White and his wife, Kathy, will eventually end in California, helping their three children remodel their homes.
White also owns several rental properties.
The Whites, who are residents of Pemberville, also raise service dogs.
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 January 2014 10:49
 

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