In the late seventies, Brooks Johnson began his tenure at Stanford University. I was an assistant coach at Bellarmine Prep, in San Jose, and running for Santa Clara University. I had first heard of Brooks when he was coaching Steve Williams. I first read an article by Brooks in 1977, when he wrote a column for RW regarding American distance runners. His contention, then, as now, is that if you want to succeed in the global battlefield that is World class distance running, you better have a kick, oh, and stay up with the competition until you can use said kick. As Brooks was a bit indelicate, he infuriated more than a few folks.
In living in the Bay Area, and training and racing in said area, I met many who were coached by Brooks, and they either loved him or did not love him, as is the case with most coaches. Brooks did not and does not suffer fools. Yet, in his conversations with you, in his writing, there are times when (and more often than not), that Coach Brooks gets it.
Brooks Johnson, 2012 US Indoors,
That was the case with his column on Suzy Favor Hamilton. For the past two days, I have been speaking to a few news organizations about showing some compassion when considering Favor-Hamilton’s admission to being a call girl. In a conversation with ABC TV 27 in Madison, I tried to make the point that elite athletes, in all sports, are a unique sort, and that the fall from attention needs to be addressed. I also felt, and feel, that the good that Suzy has done will be overshadowed for some time, by her most recent actions. I also have to say, that I have an issue with publicizing issues between consenting adults, but that will have to wait for another place and time.
Brooks Johnson wrote a column, as he does on his blog, that was right on the point. Please read the column, http://spikesandflats.com/blog/?p=242. I wish I had wrote this one. And thanks to David Oliver for sending out Coach Brook’s blog.