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Letter: Jim Eakin’s Extraordinary Tenure

Jim Eakin’s Extraordinary Tenure

To the Editor:

I am writing my first-ever letter to the Forum, which I have been reading since I could read (approximately 1977), because I just learned that Jim Eakin is retiring after 32 years of coaching cross country and track. I was on his team from 1985 to 1989 and want to celebrate his extraordinary tenure.

He had a profound and positive impact on me and my teammates at a critical time in our lives — when we were figuring out what to value, who to be, how to treat each other. He believed in every person’s capacity as a runner, a person, a thinker, a member of the team, and demanded of each of us that we treat others, and ourselves, with that same respect. He was generous and demanding at the same time, and taught us — by example, not dogma — that individual and collective excellence were totally intertwined.

Jim coached me not just to be the best runner I could be, but the best person, and I am so grateful to have been lucky enough to know him and learn from him.

Zephyr Teachout

New York City