I’m thankful that I had the privilege of knowing former Cheyenne Central Head Track Coach Jim McLeod. I was never athletic in school, but I always had an interest in sports, wanting to be a part of a team. I got that chance during the 1984 track season.
Coach Jim McLeod helped fulfill my wishes to be a part of a team
My first year in high school at Cheyenne Central (junior year) was a tough transition for me, as I had lived in Casper several years prior. I recall asking the head basketball coach if I could be a manager on his team, but I was told I wasn’t needed. Undeterred, I next went to Coach McLeod and asked him if he needed a manager for the track team, and I was told I could do so for the boys primarily. His easy going, down to earth personality put me at ease quickly. I was expected to attend the practices, help move equipment, and do any tasks that Coach McLeod’s assistants had for me.
The winter and spring of 1984 were mired by a lot of bad weather, to where a number of meets were canceled, but I still did get to attend a number of out of town matches. At the state meet in Casper, I got to see that the toughest stance of the coach. Several guys had to room together, and we were getting loud, and wouldn’t listen when we were told to be quiet. Coach McLeod finally came into the room and warned us we’d all be sent home if we didn’t shut up, and so we did.
I took his sports officiating class in my senior year of high school, where I learned more about officiating games. The class was very laid back. We’d get to see video bytes of Sunday NFL games on Monday to discuss officiating calls as well as some WWF (now WWE) pro wrestling matches on the VCR.
I’m thankful that a man like Coach Jim McLeod was there for me.