To: All of my dear friends and classmates of the “Class of 53”
Subject “My Road with Coach Brewer”
I am sure that most of you like me continue to look back. I know that those of you who knew me during those years at “Central
High” recall a small frail guy who for some reason found his niche in running.
Not many, if any, had an idea of how my interest in track came about. I want to bore you with just a little of that story. As a 9th
grader at Reed I had been really active in plays and productions. I had thought I would love to continue that experience in high
school. In the spring of 1950, as we prepared to go to that “huge school in the center of town”, the coaches from the high school
came to visit the junior high, as I recall. There with the help of the junior high coach/ physical education teacher, prospective
students for athletics were selected for the high school. It was obvious I didn’t fit any of the existing programs - Football,
Basketball, Baseball, and Track. They also chose a few to become managers. Coach Brewer had known my older brother as a
football player and asked if I would like to be a manager. I was thrilled!!
When it came time to do a class schedule for the next year, I found that the only Drama Class that was available to me was the
6th hour. I was scheduled for 6th hour athletics. The first week of school I enjoyed being a manager. I, along with a few others
got the footballs out, and did other jobs for the coaches. One day I observed a small group doing exercises and I asked Coach
Brewer what they were doing. He told me that was the Cross Country Team. I asked “What is that?” He gave me a brief answer
that it was guys who like to run. “Would you like to run with them? You can do your football duties afterwards.” So that was the
beginning of being on a Cross Country Team. That day they were running for time, and I was soon to learn what that meant. I
joined the group. The two outstanding Seniors were Bill Carr and Bill Vincent and they took me under their wing, I thought. We
left the stadium and I had no idea where we were going, So those two told me “Just follow us!” When we returned to the stadium
I was just a little ways behind them.
Coach Brewer was there with his stop watch and he asked Bill Carr “What is he doing with you guys?” Bill replied “Coach, we
tried to loose him but he just stayed back of us.” I lost my job as a manager and became a member of the 1950-51Cross
Cross country and track became a major part of my high school days. Coach Brewer became that special teacher all of us have
had during our school days. I have no idea how many of you continued to have contact with those special teachers and
coaches. In my case Coach Brewer remained an influence on my life. He assisted me to get started on a college education at
Pittsburg State. I enjoyed track there but cross country didn’t exist, even though I was told it would be started. Coach Brewer
continued to encourage me. When for financial reasons I had to drop out of college, he stepped up and assisted me with
getting a teaching certificate for a position in a school district that was desperate for a teacher. With just 2 years of college, I
started a life long career. He was there for me!!
While teaching that year I met Glenda ,who had graduated from the high school where I was teaching and coaching. My wife
now, for over 56 years! After we married, we moved to Illinois where I continued my teaching; and we returned to Missouri for
family visits which often included a visit with “Coach”. Coach Brewer constantly reminded me that I needed to complete my
degree! I did so in Downtown Chicago on Saturdays. (I was a distance runner, so 8 years to get a BS Degree was just a long
My family and I visited him during the summers and once again he pushed me to obtain a Masters degree which I completed in
4 years of summers and nights.
I became a Principal/Coach in 1964 in a small school district. In 1969, I became a Principal in the largest rural district in Illinois.
In 1974 my family and I moved to a nearby school district where I felt the superintendent was one who was looking to improve
the educational program of that district.
Coach Brewer encouraged me to become active in Educational Organizations In 1975. I became President Elect of the Illinois
Principals Association. In the fall of 1976 Coach Brewer and his wife, who by that time were co-authors of an elementary school
science series, came to our school district and held a workshop for our teachers. Administrative changes occurred in that
district, and in 1979 I became Superintendent. I visited Coach Brewer the fall of 1986 before he passed away in 1987. He was so
inspirational to me!! The State Cross Country Championship Trophy was sitting in the living room of his home.
I know this is all about my life but I feel it gives cause to the following.
On September 14, 2012, I met with Courtney Martin, Athletic Director for Central High School; and presented to him the “Clair
Each year the outstanding Senior Boy and Girl Cross Country participants (selected by the coaches) are to have their names
inscribed on this “Award”.
It also Honors the1951-1952 State Champion Team, and lists the names of the 1952-1953 Third Place Team. Six of the seven
are members of our
“Class of ‘53”.