Large Turnout for MVHS Track Dedication to Coach Ed Teagle
May 01, 2015 07:19PM
By Paul Spear
The Mar Vista Track Dedication to Coach Ed Teagle was attended by well over 100 people on Thursday. They came out not only to honor a man who brought winning to schools that were perennial losers, they came out to honor a man who taught students what it took to be successful in life. His Record while at MVHS was an outstanding 102 - 22 and his lifetime record was 193-42-2.
Everyone knew he was a winning coach and a Hall of Famer but what I learned from the track dedication was that he touched so many lives and taught his students to be successful in life and that every person on the team counted. But to learn truly about Coach Teagle you need to here it from one of his students.
Mike Fulton from his Bonnita Team Class of 76 wrote this that best describes Coach Teagle:
Allow me to put Ed Teagle’s career record into perspective. His career record of 193 wins, 42 losses and 2 ties gives him a win percentage of 81.4%. But that doesn’t tell the real story.
Before Ed Teagle came to Mar Vista, they had won some track meets, but never had a winning season. Under Ed Teagle, Mar Vista set the record for most consecutive league victories in any sport at 27. This was at a time when there were only 5 schools in the district.
Ed Teagle left Mar Vista after the spring of 1972 and went to Bonita Vista. At that time, Bonita Vista had only been around 6 years. Up to that point, Bonita Vista had never won a single track meet in their short history. In his first year at Bonita Vista, Ed Teagle only lost one meet and that was to the team that would win the league title (Sweetwater). It would be the last Track meet that Ed Teagle would ever lose. The streak that Ed Teagle started lasted for 3 years after he retired. When the streak was over, the new record was 80 straight league victories, almost 3 times the old record. THAT, my friends, is how you define “dynasty”.
There is a question that has been asked by many athletes and coaches over the years, “How did Ed Teagle do it? What was his secret?” His athletes would tell you that it wasn’t because he had technical expertise in every event. He most definitely had expertise in the hurdles and pole vault, but there are many more events in a track meet. It wasn’t because he coached with a heavy hand. Just the opposite was true. His secret was that he genuinely cared about young people. He was in awe of the potential carried by each and every young person. His goal was to “capture their minds” or get them to believe they could do it. Ed Teagle knew that once they believed, they would do great things that surprised everyone. He knew that confidence breeds success and success breeds confidence. Ed Teagle was a master at starting that upwards spiral.
His athletes would also tell you that he did it with numbers. At the start of every season, he would tell his teams, “Bring me bodies”. He wanted every athlete to bring out as many friends as they could for the cross country and track teams. Ed Teagle was known for very big teams. In 1976 at Bonita Vista, the team was 176 strong from a school that only had a total enrollment of 1,488. The JV 400, 800, mile and 2-mile had up to 50 runners from Bonita Vista on the track. Bonita Vista had at least 8 4x100 and 4x440 JV teams in every meet. Everyone participated and usually in multiple events.
Coach Teagle would also use the large number of athletes for a psychological advantage. In a news article written for the Chula Vista Star News in 1976, sports reporter Dave Hatz said, “I was sitting at a stop light 3 blocks from Castle Park High School wondering how I would open my story about the meet between Castle Park and Bonita Vista. I realized I could hear Bonita Vista warming up for the meet.” A signature Ed Teagle track team was everyone getting together to stretch and warm up. They would count their jumping jacks (et al) at the top of their lungs. This would pump up their team, while psyching out the opposing team.
Another reason Ed Teagle wanted his athletes to “Bring [him] bodies” was because he was always looking for that diamond in the rough. If one out of 50 “bodies” turned out to be a track star, then he had succeeded. No one was better at polishing those “diamonds-in-the-rough” into valuable gems than Ed Teagle. Coach Teagle would seek out the at-risk kids that would have dropped out of school. When he was done with them, they would do anything to stay in school just so they could run track – even their homework.
Probably the most endearing quality that Ed Teagle had was his firm belief that everyone mattered. He would tell stories to motivate his teams before each meet, but these stories weren’t about the superstars. Every story was about a kid with a big heart that struggle to succeed, but finally finished third in a varsity race and became the hero of the meet. Ed Teagle would tell these stories about kids that overcame great odds with an emotion choked voice and tears in his eyes. The message was clear: Every athlete matters, regardless of what place you finish. The result was that his athletes were fiercely loyal to him and would do anything for him.
Listening to the testimony from fellow coaches and athletes from his cross country and track teams after 55 years in some cases, it is hard to fathom the depth of the loyalty. But for Ed Teagle to be honored in this way 30 years after his death is something that everyone that ran for him believes is well deserved.
Listening to the testimony from fellow coaches and athletes from his cross country and track teams after 55 years in some cases, it is hard to fathom to depth of the loyalty. But for Ed Teagle to be honored in this way 30 years after his death is something that everyone that ran for him believes is well deserved.
Here is Thursday's Program for the MVHS Track Dedication to Coach Ed Teagle: