They Direct Irish Thinclads
The St. Thomas High track team probably is the only high school squad to have three coaches and judging from the performances of Irish runners this month they are prospering. The three coaches are Don Chalfant (left), Dave Spaan (center) and Chuck Morton, who is the spokesman for the group.
St. Thomas Gives New Twist To Old Adage
By Bill Anderson
The St. Thomas track team is trying a new twist on an old adage.
The Irish are hoping that too many cooks will improve the broth.
St. Thomas has three track coaches—Charles Morton, Dave Spaan and Don Chalfant—probably the only high school in the state to have that many.
Morton, who refers to himself as the “spokesman,” is the chief coach.
The three coaches’ philosophy can be summed up in two words, hard work.
For instance, the day before a meet, most track squads have a light limbering up session. Not so for the Irish runners, they spend the day before the meet working hard.
The method has paid off. The Irish have improved upon their times steadily since their first outing in the Chelsea Invitational earlier this month.
The mile relay team is a good example. The team of Don Proctor, Paul Woolner, Terry Gibson and Lee Marburger stopped the watches in 3:43 last week at Chelsea.
The resignation of Athletic Director Leo Wagner to take a position with the Detroit Diocese left the school without a track coach. The new coaches each make it to the practices and meets on alternate days.
The coaches have a wealth of experience in track and field behind them as they guide the fortunes of St. Thomas.
Morton, a former Ann Arbor High miler, transferred to Michigan after spending one year at Duke. He was graduated from Michigan with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering and received a master of arts in 1958 in business administration. He was employed by Hoover Ball & Bearing Co., after graduation.
Presently, Morton is enrolled in the School of Dentistry.
Chalfant, who is full-time teacher in the Ann Arbor public school system, is an elementary physical education instructor. He was on the Michigan track team from 1959-61 and ran on the mile-relay team and low hurdles.
Spaan is an instructor of English in the engineering department at Michigan and working on his Ph.D. He is a graduate of Hope College where he ran the 220, 440 and 880-yard runs. He received his master’s from Michigan.