Coaches Q & A with Claud Spinks of Eagle's Landing HS

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When did you first become interested in Cross country/Track and Field? 

In 9th grade I broke my nose and a couple of teeth at the first football practice of the season. One of the football coaches suggested I go out for cross country so I did.

Did you ever compete in Track/cross country scholastically, and if so where?

In Europe in 9th and 10th grade and at Stockbridge High School in 11th and 12th grade

What are your favorite memories from competing in Track and did you win any honors?

Running in the European high school cross country championships was an amazing experience. I was top 3 my 10th grade year. At Stockbridge I won a couple of region championships and was a state placer.

When did you decide to be a Track and Field coach?

My plan was to wait until my daughters graduated high school and then coach but the chance presented itself sooner so I took it. Like so many things that have happened to me I was lucky to be in the right place at the perfect time. 

Tell me everywhere you have coached and for how long?

Eagle's Landing High School is the only place I have coached. Since I am so old, people assume I have been coaching longer but I am just finishing up my 13th year. 

Who has been your most profound influence in shaping your mindset and program?

There is no single person. More like a group of people. The fellow coaches at Coach Benson's Nike Running Camp have been the greatest influence on me as a coach.

Have you coached any other Sports besides Track/Cross country?

These are the sports I have coached but I was the Athletic Director at Eagle's Landing High School for 5 years. 

What are your favorite events to coach?

My favorite event to coach is the 800. 

Do you have any specific Goals for your team this Outdoor season?

Since I am an asst. now, I am trying to be as supportive of our head coach as possible. 

How much has Track/Cross country changed since the advent of and now MileSplit GA?

I started coaching as GATFXC was just getting popular. It makes it easy for athletes and coaches to compare their teams and athletes. It is a great tool. 

What changes would you like to be made in the future for Georgia HS Track and Field?

I really would like to add the 4 x 800m relay to the state meet. 

If you could turn the clock back, would you do anything differently?

I would not. I have been the luckiest person in the world. Every that has happened has happened for a reason and I can't imagine wanting to change any of it. 

If possible, what has been your best moment/memory as a Coach?

Coaching my daughters and some of the best athletes in the history of Georgia have been amazing, but the single greatest coaching memory is from my first year coaching cross country. Our boys' team had been in the shadow of the girls for several years and were motivated to get on the Podium for the first time in school history. The season was going well until region, when things fell apart.. Many things went wrong at region and that day and the following week were some of toughest days of my coaching career. The captains and I decided that if the team was to run well at state, we needed to push some buttons. It did not go well... By the time, the team got to the line to race, virtually no one was even talking to each other. Somehow, the boys raced well. Even though we were not talking much, everyone knew it was a good effort. We hung out at the results board waiting for our race results to be posted. Within seconds of the posting of the results we were on the Podium and the entire team was in tears (of joy.) and they practically carried me back to the tent. As a coach, I hope that every athlete I coach is able to share in that feeling at some point in his or her career.