Guy Fowler is a two-year Oakdale High cross country coach, four-year OHS special education teacher, current speed training coach for the football program and next year he will join Dave Bacigalupi’s track and field coaching staff for distance runners.
But his duties don’t end there.
Fowler was recently elected National Vice Chairman of U.S. Amateur Athletic Union Track and Field/Cross Country.
The position means some big travel plans for Fowler and his wife Karen as they crisscross the country to put on national track and field and cross country events.
“The big thing is how to put on a good track meet for the kids and parents, and if you do that they will stay interested,” Fowler said. “It has to be run well and that’s what we really try to do.”
Fowler will see a good portion of 2011 at various AAU events, including 14-day stanzas in Orlando and New Orleans.
He spends each day (usually from about 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) at the track in purely volunteer mode, though AAU pays for all of his flight and hotel costs. Karen Fowler is responsible for checking in the 10,000-plus athletes that attend these events, and joins her husband of three years at each venue throughout the year.
“I’m kind of like the support staff behind the scenes,” Karen said. “I just handle things in the background, which is perfectly fine for me.”
Coach Fowler has been involved in AAU track and field since he qualified for national decathlon events in the program when he was a sophomore at Tulare Union High. He met TUHS graduate and 1948 Olympic gold medalist (decathlon) Bob Mathias during his prep years, adding motivation to stay involved in the sport after his prep graduation and college track and field career was over.
Fowler was head track and field coach at Tulare Union, leaving the area for teaching and coaching positions in Oakdale after his future wife picked up employment in Oakdale.
The Mustang coach is now in position to draw a wide assortment of youth running events to the area and potentially Oakdale High’s sterling all-weather track inside The Corral.
But first, he and his wife must finish a busy year of hosting track meets across the nation with familiar AAU faces.
“The enjoyment we get is from friends we have all over the country who do the same thing to put on these national events,” Fowler said. “We don’t get to see them except on these trips, and when we do it’s a bit like a family reunion.”