By Marco Goldberg, Trevor Meyer and Matt Miles
Paul Hines has been an integral part of this school for thirty-six years. Besides teaching history in the boys’ middle school, he also coaches the high school boys’ cross-country and track teams. He is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach, and he has been the coach of multiple Hall of Fame teams. He is a seasoned marathon runner as well and embodies the values of hard work and perseverance that he instills in his students and athletes. He has had a lasting impact on the young men of CHA and now SCH over the years, and an in-depth interview with him was long overdue. Your freshman correspondents have the story.
Q: What made you want to start teaching?
A: Good question. My mother was a teacher, so teaching runs in the family. On my mother’s side, teachers run back to the 1800’s, so I guess I have deep roots in teaching. And I always liked history. History was my favorite subject, so I always wanted to be a history teacher.
Q: When did you begin coaching?
A: January 1976
Q: You yourself are already a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame and have had teams inducted before. Earlier this year, you had another team inducted. What was special about that?
A: First of all, that team had three All-Americans. Brian Derby was a two-time All-American in the hurdles, Chris Crawley was a one-time All-American in the triple jump, and Tys Weckerser was All-American in the shot-put, was a national champion in the indoor season of 1999, has the school record and tied the league record. And as back-up we had different pieces to support the All-Americans in sprints and jumps.
Q: What key characteristics do you look for in your athletes?
A: Perseverance, discipline, confidence; they are the three major qualities.
Q: As a coach, what traits do you try to instill in your athletes?
A: Again, those three things: perseverance, discipline, and confidence, as well as the drive to reach their full potential in their event.
Q: You’ve been here for thirty-six years. You must have some pretty great stories. Can you share one?
A: Brian Derby was such a talent in the hurdles that in a race one time out at Coatesville High School, I was officiating the long and triple jumps, so I was not at the starting or finish lines, but I still saw him win the hurdles from a distance. And when they made the announcement of who won, they never announced his name, but he had won by a lot. So when I had a chance, I went up to complain to the official and asked if Brian had been disqualified or if something had happened. The official asked if Brian had even been in the race, and I said he certainly was in the race, he won the race. He ran the tape to see if Brian won the race. The official said, “Coach, you can see he was not in the race.” I said wind it back a little further, and Brian was so far ahead that they didn’t even see him in the tape, so he did not get the credit for the win when they announced the places.
Q: How many seconds did he win by?
A: Probably a second and a half, which is about 20 yards.
Q: Besides being an excellent coach, you are also a seasoned runner. When and why did you first start running?
A: I went out for cross-country at Cardinal Dougherty in the fall of 1968 to get in shape for basketball.
Q: Do you still run?
A: Yes, I still run, five to six days a week. I used to do seven, but because of arthritis in one knee I’ve cut back a little
Q: How many marathons have you run?
Q: Why did you start running marathons?
A: I swore to my wife when I got married that I would never run a marathon. So all of a sudden I got to age 35 and got the itch to run a marathon, just because it was a challenge. So I started training for it, and I sort of liked the training part even though I didn’t do so well in my first marathon. Then, on my third marathon, I qualified for the Boston Marathon. I was just going to run once at Boston and then call it a day, but I had so much fun in Boston that I had to keep going. So I became a marathon streaker at Boston.
Q: How many Boston Marathons have you run?
A: Twenty-one in total. Nineteen in a row at one point.
Q: How many marathons do you think you have left?
A: I’d like to say two, obviously to get to fifty and then one more. A lot of people stop at fifty so I’d like to stop at an odd number and I’m going for fifty-one. Who knows, though. Maybe if my knees get better, I’ll run a few more.
Q: What were your thoughts on your cross-country team’s performance this season?
A: It was the best team we have had in five years; I think it was a good group of guys. They worked hard. Unfortunately we will lose five or six seniors, (not Jan, he’s going to repeat 12th grade), but we have a couple of freshmen coming up, and they should be able to fill in the gaps. If they can go out and recruit a few more freshmen and sophomores, we should have a good future.