Brooks Sports Crowns Paul Raley as Nation's Most Inspiring High School Running Coach, release, note by Larry Eder

Coach Raley Saying a Few Words.jpg
Paul Raley addresses the pep Rally in Benton, Wisconsin, 
photo courtesy of Brooks Running
Coach Raley and his golden spike.jpg

Paul Raley with Brooks Golden Spike award, 
photo courtesy of Brooks Running

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Paul Raley with athletes, former athletes, family and friends, 
photo by Brooks Running

Coach Raley Accepting His Award.jpg
Paul Raley with Angela Bizzari and Tiffany Herman,
 photo by Brooks Running

Paul Raley has coached for 34 years. His first coaching position was at Benton High School thirty years ago. In 2007, Paul comes back to Benton, finds that the school no longer has a track program. Raley not only restarted the program, he funded the program. 

Paul has coached basketball, cross country and track. He is also a teacher. His athletes love him and showed up to tell the rally about how Paul Raley had changed their lives. Paul Raley was surprised that he had won Brooks Most Inspiring Coach award, but, in fact, he is the epitome of what makes the 37,553 head high school cross country and track coaches in the US. 

Paul Raley is an example of the type of people who go into coaching and how they change the lives of the athletes and student that they coach. Paul Raley told the crowd that " I want to continue to coach for many years to come."

Raley is an extraordinary coach. Consider this: team of 17 athletes, out of 78 in high school. Of the 9 girls, on team, six made state meet, of the 8 guys, several made state meet. Without a track at the school, Paul juggled finding places to run and work out each and every day. 

Brooks picked a perfect example of the good people who coach high school sports. Coaches change lives. Brooks gets that and picked a fine example in Paul Riley as their 2012 Brook's Most Inspiring High School Coach. 


Brooks Sports Crowns Nation's Most Inspiring High School

Running Coach


Wisconsin Coach Chosen for His Lifelong Dedication to the Sport and His Efforts to Bring Track Back to His Small Community


Bothell, Wash. -  Sept. 22, 2012 -  Inspiring his athletes, school administration and his community to Run Happy with his own selfless commitment and passion for track makes Coach Paul Raley stand out from the pack. A willingness to volunteer personal time and pay out of pocket to restart the track and field program at the high school where his coaching career began over 30 years ago earned him the title of 2012 Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year. 


Leading running company Brooks Sports, Inc. today announced Coach Paul Raley from Benton High School in Benton, Wis., its 2012 most inspiring coach. In nominations from his runners, fellow coaches and community members, Raley was described as someone who "loves the sport and passes that love along to his athletes" and whose "dedication and commitment to his athletes serve as inspiration to all who know him."


"We created the Brooks Inspiring Coaches program to recognize the unsung heroes in our sport who hit the track and trails every day to make a lifelong impact in the lives of young runners," said Jim Weber, president and CEO of Brooks Sports, Inc. "Inspirational coaches teach lessons on the run that go well beyond the next race or even the next year. We believe it's important to reward these individuals for the impact their knowledge, time and guidance make in helping their teams achieve both athletic and personal greatness well beyond high school."


Coach Raley has inspired more than just his athletes on the track--his drive has united schools and communities. He single-handedly funded the Benton High School track program for more than four years, and that commitment is motivating the school district to fully fund the program in 2013. He also created a co-op track program with the neighboring Scales Mound High School in Illinois, giving it the long-awaited opportunity to have a track team for the first time. His daily efforts include searching out available practice locations--neither high school has a track--recruiting other volunteer coaches and increasing team participation to a third of the school's total enrollment.


"I am so touched and thankful to be named the 2012 Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year," said Coach Raley after receiving his award to a standing ovation during a community pep rally at Benton High School. "It's rewarding to hear I've made such a positive impact on so many of my athletes. With all the amazing coaches across the U.S., I am humbled to receive this great honor."


As the 2012 Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year, Coach Raley receives $12,500 in Brooks performance running gear and cash for his school. He also gets an invitation for two to attend the 2013 Brooks PR Invitational, a national track meet where the fastest high school runners compete against one another and chase their personal records.


Coach Raley reigns among an impressive group of 25 finalists who were announced in July. Other honorees include:


·         Pete Boudreaux, Catholic High School (Baton Rouge, LA)

·         Jerry Loveall, Velma-Alma High School (Velma, OK)

·         Mark Buesing, Libertyville High School (Libertyville, IL)

·         Kay Nekota, Vacaville High School (Vacaville, CA)

·         Mike Buslepp, Romeo High School (Romeo, MI)

·         John O'Malley, Carl Sandburg High School (Orland Park, IL)

·         Hernando Chavez, Taos High School (Taos, NM)

·         Israel Pose, Torrance High School (Torrance, CA)

·         Christian Cuthbert, Veritas School (Richmond, VA)

·         Joseph Prince, Sahuarita High School (Sahuarita, AZ)

·         Jeremy Darby, Landrum High School (Campobello, SC)

·         Wayne Roberts, Sandusky High School (Sandusky, MI)

·         David Davis, Mountain View High School (Stafford, VA)

·         Dan Scroggins, Lake City Community School (Lake City, CO)

·         Julie Fink, Runnels High School

(Baton Rouge, LA)

·         Mark Shafer, Chardon High School (Chardon, OH)

·         Scott Griggs, Franklin High School (Seattle, WA)

·         Arthemon Sindayigaya, Abilene Christian High School (Abilene, TX)

·         Eric Heintz, Marist School

(Atlanta, GA)

·         Ben Talsma, Crossroads Charter Academy (Big Rapids, MI)

·         Marcus Jackson, Sheffield High School (Memphis, TN)

·         Melissa Thomas, Manchester Valley High School (Manchester, MD)

·         Victoria Jones, Mill Springs Academy (Alpharetta, GA)

·         Connie Washnik, Park Ridge High School (Park Ridge, NJ)



Each of the Inspiring Coaches finalists will receive $5,000 in Brooks performance running footwear, apparel, and accessories, $500 in cash for additional team expenses, and membership into the Brooks Inspire Daily (I.D.) program.  For more information about 2012 Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year Paul Raley and all of the top 25 Inspiring Coaches finalists, visit


About Brooks
Brooks Sports, Inc. is a leading running company that designs and markets a line of performance footwear, apparel, and accessories in more than 60 countries worldwide. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Brooks was founded in 1914 and is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., near Seattle. The company's mission is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear that keeps them running longer, farther, and faster. Visit for more information, and follow frequent brand updates on Twitter (@brooksrunning) and Facebook (Brooks Sports).

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