Cross-country coach Austin Angell coaches three generations of runners

Sara Jackson / Special to the Tribune

It’s rare that someone, not only has an impact on one young person’s life, but then goes on to mentor three generations of that person’s family.

This is just what happened when cross-country coach, Austin Angell entered the life of then South Tahoe High School student, Darrell Schue in 1975. It wasn’t until 22 years later that Angell would coach Darrell’s daughter, Lauren in 1997 at South Tahoe Middle School.

Sixteen years later, Darrell’s grandson, Ethan would become the third generation of the Schue family to be coached by Austin Angell.

Now in his 48th year of coaching cross-country, Coach Angell says he plans on working until he hits his 50th year.

Before becoming coach for both South Tahoe High School and South Tahoe Middle School, Coach Angell participated in the Boston and New York marathons, and attended every California State Championship track and field meet.

To say the least, Coach Angell has been a hero and a mentor to those training under him for the past forty-eight total, and twenty-five years at South Tahoe Middle School. He’s led his cross-country team to too many championships to name.

Darrell Schue started training with his friends who were cross-country runners. “I actually was a track athlete, and I ran the high hurdles and high jumped. In 1975, Austin helped out Coach Les Wright and Coach Jim Jones with the cross-country and track team. At that time our cross-country team was a top ranked cross-country team in California,” says Darrell Schue.

Coach Angell tells his athletes, “Train and put in the work, and you will be successful.”

It was hearing these words of wisdom that led Darrell and his cross-country teammates, The Vikings, to winning most all of the meets they competed in.

In the early days, a lot of the young cross-country players on Coach Angell’s team couldn’t understand why a man 5x their age was coaching them. Those first practice workouts were dubbed “Old Man Camp.” Little did they know about their coach’s incredible past as an athlete. Such as being a water polo player in college and running a series of races in San Francisco and New York.

It was soon realized by generations to come that having an older coach means they have more experience and knowledge to pass on.

Darrell Schue says the fact that Coach Angell has a positive and helpful attitude, and has also competed himself, is what was inspiring to him.

“Coach was always competing in local races himself. We had ‘all comers’ track meets every week at the middle school in the summer for years, and coach would be there competing and helping out,” adds Schue.

Darrell says he’s proud and honored to have had his daughter, Lauren and now his grandson, Ethan, running cross-country as the Timber Wolves on Coach Angell’s team.

No matter when Coach Angell retires, his legacy will be felt and never forgotten by both the Schue family, and those families that have come before and after.

“Our community is fortunate to have Coach Angell encouraging and coaching the kids over the last 48 years! His commitment and dedication to the kids is truly inspiring. He has touched so many lives in such a positive way. I have great admiration and respect for him,” says Schue.

Editor’s note: This article was written on behalf of the Schue family to thank Coach Angell. Coach Angell could not be reached for this article.

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