Honoring Coach Casey: One Hurdle at a Time
Early fall last year one of Youth Track’s most revered coaches decided to hang up his hurdle. Coach Charles Casey the hurdle coach for 3M Track Club out of Oakland announced his retirement at the annual Track Banquet
Since 1985, Coach Casey has been teaching the art of Hurdles to the members of Oakland’s own, 3M. After coming over from Berkeley East Bay to coach his son Byron. Coach Casey has a background in martial arts and was a track athlete himself. He believes he has been so successful over the past years with his athletes, because they believe he really cares about the whole person.
Many of his athletes begin as midgets bunny hopping over the hurdle which he believes is the most important step, just get over and do it the best way you can. Once they get over, he then can work on other aspects of hurdling. Coach Casey had had tremendous success over the past 25 years, he has helped Coach Pittman and the rest of the 3M Coaching staff build a solid foundation for youth hurdling.
Many of his athletes have gone one to both high school and college using the same hurdle count. As these athletes move on and mature, many have gone on to achieve both state, national and international success. Just recently, former 3M Athlete and UC Berkeley signee, Ray Stewart thanked Coach Casey for giving him the framework for his success as he moves on to his college career.
Julian Purvis: “Coach Casey was a fun coach, he had a lot of energy and was always supportive when you did something well, he made Youth Track Fun”
Even though Youth track last a short time in many of our athletes careers, it is clear the impact that the Coaches like Coach Casey have made on the kids have been enormous. This year at the 3M Invitational, many of Coach Casey’s former athletes will be on hand to recognize his time, energy and enthusiasm, and Coach Casey is excited about seeing them all.
Trinity Wilson: “I still use his hurdle cadence to this day, I hear myself saying it as I hurdle”
Trinity Wilson, the current National record holder in the 100mh, is one of Coach Casey’s former athletes, and she says that she talks to Coach Casey all the time and she loves the fact that he continues to offer words of encouragement and tell her how proud he is of her accomplishments”. Trinity just happened to be one of the athletes that had the honor of signing his record holder shirt. This is a quite an honor for any athlete who has trained under Coach Casey, once you break a national record, you have the honor of signing his shirt with your winning time.
Sasha Wallace: “Its important to me that I make him proud, he spent a lot of time trying to make us all better. Needless to say, he has a lot of signatures on the shirt to date.