Pioneer's Track Stars
Sleeman began coaching Pioneer High's cross-country team in 1968 and added the track program in 1974. In more than four decades, his teams have won six state championships, and more than one hundred boys have earned all-state honors. And Sleeman's office-mate, Bryan Westfield, has an equally impressive record: since taking over the girls' track and cross-country teams in 1979, Westfield's won twenty state championships and also coached more than a hundred all-state athletes.
"We both have a very demanding outlook about how to prepare young athletes to have success," Sleeman says. "We sometimes differ in methodology, but the underlying premise is very similar."
According to Westfield, their success stems from getting kids and families to buy into the mind-set that running and competing are going to be an important part of their lives--and then to follow through with that commitment.
"Both men built programs where excellence was the expectation," says Chip Hadler, who ran for Sleeman from 1972 to 1974 and whose daughter, Carrie, ran for Westfield from 1998 to 2000. "Once established, it becomes the legacy for the program. Younger athletes coming up do their best to carry on what came before."