Jeff Brady has been coaching cross country at Tahoma High School for 23 years, and has been coaching track for 24 years.
In 2018 his hard work and dedication for the sports paid off.
He received Coach of the Year by The Cross Country Coaches Association, according to the Tahoma School District Facebook page.
Brady got his start coaching when he was looking to get into a career in education, but also enjoyed coaching and wanted to take part in that as well.
“It was just one of those things I probably wanted to be more of a coach then I did a teacher at that point. I had some great coaches when I was younger and I just kind of gravitated towards that because I wanted to kind of give back. You know from the experiences I had when I was younger,” he said.
Brady chose to stay in the Tahoma School District for so long because he and his family live in the area, and his two kids go to the high school. He said his daughter does track and cross country, while his son does track. His wife also works in the district.
He said he chose to coach track and cross country because he did both of those sports growing up, along with wrestling and football.
But in the end, he fell in love with the long distance aspect of both sports.
It was also a great way for him to stay in shape while coaching the kids, he said with a laugh. Instead of coaching from the sideline, he runs with the kids.
He said his favorite part of coaching cross country is building relationships with the kids and guiding them in the right direction.
“The cool thing about cross country is there are some kids that work really hard, not just competing, but also in the classroom as well. They’re a really, really great group of kids,” Brady said.
At the end of the 2018 season, Brady said the boys team won state, which is what he thinks drew the Cross Country Coaches Association to him, picking him as Coach of the Year.
He said he found out about winning the award back in December and was happy to know that the hard work that he, other coaches and the kids do isn’t going unnoticed.
“I was very honored. It’s great to see that hard work pay off with a state title and getting Coach of the Year, but it’s a program award, knowing that we have a lot of great coaches on our coaching staff and great kids that work really hard,” Brady said.
He said he will be awarded the Coach of the Year plaque at a banquet the association will be holding at the end of this month.
Even though he has been coaching for more than two decades, Brady said he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“I would probably say I look to plan on coaching as long as I continue to love the sport and have the same support around me. I really enjoy coaching with the coaches that I work with and having my family involved as well is a big support as well,” he said.