The California Pintos track and field team will have a new face at the helm for next season, as Eric Stout was named the new head coach for the Pintos.
Stout said at California, he saw an opportunity to advance his career and his personal life; he said he has been around Holden nearly his whole life.
“So I wanted to expand a little bit and broaden my horizons,” Stout said. “Move to a different city and do different things, so it was kind of a step out of the box and grow as a person and as a professional.”
Stout said this will be his first time serving as a head coach for a high school track and field team. He does, however, have head coaching experience with Holden’s middle school track and field team, a role he held for two years.
“I was kind of being trained while I was at (Holden) to become the next head track coach for them but then some other things came into play and, fortunately, I got the opportunity at California,” Stout said. “I am pretty excited about that.”
Stout said he thinks his time in Holden has prepared him well to be the newest head coach for the Pintos.
“In Holden, we ran a seventh-twelfth grade program, so it was already kind of one unit. It was not necessarily like ‘Middle school is this and high school does this.’ Everyone did the same thing,” Stout said. “So I feel like that experience kind of got me already equipped to be the leader of a high school track team.”
Holden said reaching out to the community is one goal he plans to work on while he is at California.
“Starting to build from the youth. Then, making sure that middle school kids are being active and then ultimately just getting into the schools and getting into knowing families and knowing kids and hopefully get a good turnout for track,” Stout said.
Stout said he especially enjoys seeing the athletes make progress and set new personal records throughout the season from a coaching perspective.
“Seeing them put the work in at practice and then the results that typically come, not immediately but toward the end of the season. When it gets to a certain point of the season, when kids start getting PRs (personal records) in almost every single event that they are doing at every meet. That’s when you are like ‘Yes, you are working hard and you are seeing the results of it,’” Stout said. “It is pretty exciting.”
The team aspect of track and field competition is another element Stout said he enjoys about coaching the sport.
“Seeing how relay teams start to come together and count on one another, and the field events know they have a big role to play,” Stout said. “Just the camaraderie; track tends to be an individual sport, (but) the strongest track teams have a huge team aspect to it.”
While at practices and early season meets, Stout said he would like to see the athletes trusting in their coaches and giving it their all.
“If they give it their full effort and they know that they have worked the hardest in practice, then meets are going to take care of themselves,” Stout said. “It is kind of on the kids to put the effort in and the coaches can kind of direct them in that pathway to be successful, but at the end of the day, it is the kids that are working their butts off. They are going to see the success from their hard work.”