I first met Jack during the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school back in 1999 at Jim Ryun’s Running camp. My Dad and I attended the camp that summer and we were like sponges, soaking up every story, every conversation, every video, and every seminar we attended. One of the speakers at camp was the legendary coach, Jack Daniels, who’s coaching expertise rivals that of any coach in the country. He told story after story of testing he had done on various Olympic runners, like Jim Ryun prior to the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, and all he had learned with each study. My Dad picked Jack’s brain during our week in Kansas and we came back ready to take on a new year. With our new found knowledge my Dad coached me from a mile PR down to a 4:05 by the end of my junior year. It was one of the biggest breakthrough I’ve had in my career.
During my time at Stanford I crossed paths again with Jack, as he was one of the coaches on the Farm Team (a group of professional runners that trained at Stanford), and I did a couple of VO2 Max tests under Jack’s eye. I remember doing those tests with Jack and thinking to myself what an honor it was simply to say you’ve been tested by Jack Daniels, joining my name to a list a mile long of incredible runners Jack has worked with and tested. There are few coaches in the world I have as much respect for as Jack.
Now, as a professional runner I am thrilled to be working with Jack as my coach. It has been a fun ride over the last couple of years being self-coached and I have learned a lot, but I feel like I am back in my old “sophomore self” shoes looking forward to soak up everything Jack has to say. Jack has already played an influential role in my development as a runner as well as hundreds and thousands of others and I am confident he can help me get back to my full potential as a marathon runner. With the Olympic Trials just a year and a half away it’s time to start making progress towards my main goal as an athlete, to return to the Olympics and be at my very best there. This is something that has eluded me the last two Olympics but I am hopeful and expectant for the next years ahead with Jack’s guidance.