Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jack Pyrah Remembered

Jack Pyrah at finish line of Camden Y run in 1956When former Villanova Coach Jack Pyrah passed away last July he left behind running friends across the country and across the world. From South Africa to Dublin Ireland, to Kenya to Gainesville Florida to Chicago to California to Gloucester City, New Jersey-- Jack left behind hundreds of runners and coaches he'd touched and influenced with his gentle personality and wit. In Jack's hometown of Gloucester New Jersey he left behind family (wife Jean) and many runners he'd encouraged through the years with his positive personality or with more tangible support like a pair of running shoes or spikes for a new runner.

Jack's legacy is still found in those he coached and in all those he befriended.
Jack with thevictorious VILLANOVA 4 X ONE MILE RELAY TEAM wearing black ribbons at the 1981 PENN RELAYS.From left: KEN LUCKS, MARCUS O’SULLIVAN (CURRENT VILLANOVA COACH), JACK PYRAH, JOHN HUNTER, AND SYDNEY MAREE.Alberto Salazar said his father liked Jack best of all the coaches who recruited him for college and he strongly considered attending Villanova because of Jack. (One can only imagine adding Salazar to the great Villanova teams of the time....)

We're sure Jack would like to be remembered most by deeds. It could be by giving a little encouragement for those just starting out as runners. It could also be by encouraging established runners or coaches to keep going. Just as Jack kept going to the Penn Relays for over 70 years. Those who knew Jack Pyrah can honor him best by giving something back to the running community he loved.

For more information on Jack Pyrah:
and for tributes to Jack:

Jack honored in front of 19,000 fans at a Villanova Syracuse basketball game for his National Coaches Hall of Fame inductionCoaches Jack Pyrah and Jack Heath score a Gloucester Catholic Cross Country Meet

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