RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – After less than two years' retirement, legendary track coach Jacob Brown will be joining the Racefaster Youth Running Club, to help train another generation of competitors.
Brown retired from Ridgewood High School in the spring of 2015, after a long career full of honors – though you can't get him to brag about his own achievements.
"I tend to not be a person who does that," he told Daily Voice. "I'm a big believer that you're only as good as your last race."
But his legacy is still obvious, including the fact that the track at RHS is named after him. He coached girls cross-country and track and field for four decades, racking up wins and records, as well as personal recognitions.
Brown amassed a combined total of 739 dual-meet wins – 379 in cross-country, 360 in track – against 52 losses and three ties. His teams also brought home 240 championship meet titles, including league, county, state-sectional and state group crowns.
This past fall, he was inducted into the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the '90s and named the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation National Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2010.
The Record also named him All-Century Coach for cross-country and track and field in 2000.
"I work hard at trying to make running fun, to get kids integrated into a group, where they enjoy being there together," Brown said.
He said he was looking forward to getting back into regular coaching.
"One of the great things about being retired is that if I wasn't looking forward to it, I wouldn't do it," he said. "I knew I wanted to continue coaching, in some respect. I just wasn't willing to make a six-day-a-week commitment."
In a bit of circularity, John Murtaugh, who had been coaching in the Racefaster program, left to take a full-time high school coaching job.
Brown said the Racefaster program wasn't just for training or general fitness but for competition. It's also a USATF club – the USA Track & Field being the "the national governing body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States," it notes.
The racing will be by age group, and Brown estimates that most of the participants are between 10 and 13, with some older, some younger.
Brown also plans to offer a summer running camp. He's done some, over the years, but not in the last several years. These camps, primarily for high school kids, would complement his coaching with Racefaster.
Over the years, some of his favorite moments have been seeing parents in the stands who had once been his students.
"It's a big deal to me, when that happens."