Blue Hill—George Stevens Academy indoor track coach Tony Rolfe has a career spanning the last four decades.
His career, which started in 1972 as the track coach and football coach at Huguenot High School in Richmond, Va., brought him up the East Coast to Connecticut and Massachusetts, where he retired from both coaching and teaching in 2006. Or so he thought.
Just six years after retirement, Rolfe found himself back in the coaching saddle with the cross-country team, and later with the indoor track program. The team started participating in varsity competition last year, and Rolfe said the approach he takes to coaching an independent sport like track has been similar to a team-sport approach.
“There is still a team to manage, practices to plan and lineups to manage,” said Rolfe. “I believe that high school athletes need encouragement and positive feedback to build their confidence, which leads to success.”
Rolfe added that his competitive nature, which comes from his time as a sprinter and long-jump competitor in the late 1960s, has carried over into his coaching.
Rolfe takes a general approach to forming relationships with his runners, involving himself not only in their lives during practices and meets but also in their academics and other school-related activities.
“I think relationships between coaches and athletes are enhanced [that way],” he said.
After a long coaching career, Rolfe said that one thing that has withstood the decades is his passion for watching his athletes reach their potential.
“[That] is a very satisfying part of coaching,” he said. “Winning is not so bad either.”