Honoring A Coaching Legend
Note: An abbreviated version of this blog post originated in the 2017 Runnin' Raider Newsletter which can be found at www.runninraiders.com
Doc Michel started coaching at Stevens from literally the time the high school opened its’ doors in 1970 until his retirement following the 2016 Cross Country season. During this time, Doc helped guide 51 state championship teams and impacted thousands of young lives for the better.
Richard Anderson, of the Rapid City Journal, did a very nice feature on Doc last summer after Doc had been named the NHSACA National Assistant Girls Coach of the Year. (Link: Raiders Doc Michel Retires After Winning National Honors.)
In my opinion, Doc is the foremost expert in the most important aspect of coaching: bringing out the best in people. Getting the best out of people is not a skill taught in coaching education or in teacher training, but Doc was the master. With a compliment, piece of advice or even a “lead, follow or get the heck out of the way” (or so the story goes!), Doc instinctively always knew just what to say- and when to say it- to reach the hearts and minds of youth and bring out their best performances.
This season, we (Rapid City Stevens Cross Country) re-named our "Runnin' Raider Award" to The Doc Michel First Class Award. This award was given to the male and female athlete that best displayed our team values of: Character, Commitment and Competitiveness according to Doc's famous saying, "It only takes 10% to go First Class." The 2017 winners were Anders Enevoldsen and Erica Dykstra.
Although Doc is retired, you’re sure to see him at many of the track and cross country meets. He'll probably even still be volunteering at some of them; that's just who he is and what he does.
And when you see Doc at one of those meets, make sure to give him your congratulations, but more importantly your thanks.
Congrats, Doc and THANK YOU!
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