Stride Out

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Chico State, long known as a party school—Playboy magazine ranked it number one in the nation from 1987 through 2002—offered students an inviting environment in which to enjoy social life on and off campus while pursuing their studies. The non-athletic scholarship school drew runners to Chico like San Juan Capistrano beckons swallows homeward. One reason was Bidwell Park, which stretches miles and miles from downtown to the upper reaches of Chico Creek Canyon. In recognition of its beauty, a Warner Brothers Studio crew ventured 500 miles north from Hollywood in 1938 to film “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (a motion picture starring Errol Flynn) in Chico’s “Sherwood Forest.” An attraction for some was the surname of the men’s cross country and track coach. He was a college All-American in football, who had played for the Green Bay Packers professional football team for a short time under Vince Lombardi, whose well-known mantra was, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” The coach’s brother was a world-class miler and two-time Olympian. The women runners came under the tutelage of three successive women coaches. A solid Chico State PE teacher preceded two remarkable women athletes—both former hurdlers. The second coach was an international-level competitor, and decades later a head Olympic coach. Her successor was an even better athlete, having competed in the 1964 Olympics Games. This is the story of Wildcat and Lady ‘Cat runners who came under very different coaching philosophies in the 1969–1979 era. One hundred eleven photographs; appendices; and an index to full names add value to this work. 

 

David D. Bruhn

 

2023, 6x9, paper, 246 pp.

ISBN: 9780788430114

101-B3011