Coach Dan Green, the legendary track and cross country coach at The Woodlands High School, has announced he is calling it a career at the close of this season. As outlined in this article, Green has been at the school for 33 years and managed to put together a decent resume of 14 state championships, 26 regional championships, and 31 district championships. If you add track on top of that, the man has captured over 50 district titles, which is astounding.
While Green will be fondly remembered at The Woodlands for his noted accomplishments, the young men who ran for Coach Green will certainly remember him for other reasons. You see, Green is no ordinary coach. While sleepy headed teenagers would roll out of bed and still be wiping the sleep out of their eyes at the outset of their runs in the morning, Green is singing, making gorilla noises, and generally causing everybody to glance at each other as if to say, "what is wrong with this guy?" The camaraderie created through running for Coach Green continues on far past high school. In June, I ran a marathon with an old track friend in San Diego. We spent the first twenty miles of the race firing Green stories back and forth, and became so entrenched in this that we lost track of how fast we were running (the answer...too fast. The race did not end well).
As a sample of what you might have missed by not running for Green, I will give you a sample of the top five quotes I can recall from my time. Old Man, thanks for your years of hard work and ability to make boys into men.
1). "You need to quit waiting for the Easter Bunny to bring your a** some cotton candy and get up and run!!!" -Green to me after a poor showing in part of a workout. Nobody is certain on if the Easter Bunny actually brings cotton candy.
2). "You boys need to quit snorkeling in the grass and playing mumbly peg!" -Green, apparently using his synonym for what is called "grabass." Nobody is clear on what it means to "snorkel in the grass."
3) "You might just want to put a skirt on and run for the girls team. Hell, you might be worth a damn!" -said to a teammate after a poor workout
4) "Boys, it's all about mind over matter. We don't mind, and you don't matter." - said during the thick of just about every workout.
5) (Singing) "I know a girl name boney maroney. She's as skinny as a stick of macaroni" (this of course is followed by a gorilla yell). -sang usually during the toughest part of a workout while half of the team is laying lifeless on the track, while the other half is losing their breakfast.