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    SOMEBODY PLZ COPY EDIT: doug speck



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    Join date : 2009-08-31

    SOMEBODY PLZ COPY EDIT: doug speck

    Post  melissama on Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:59 am

    Doug Speck, lifelong Arcadia High School history teacher, track and field and cross country coach, and visionary sports journalist whose enthusiasm inspired athletes and coaches alike, died on Thursday, March 4, in his sleep, at 10:07 p.m. at his home in El Segundo, CA. He was 62.

    Two years ago Speck was diagnosed with melanoma, but it was not until this past December, when a spell of dizziness during a road trip hit, that he and his doctors discovered the tumor had metastasized to his brain.

    When news of Speck’s health was disclosed, people he knew from all stages of his life, from here in Arcadia to as far away as southern Europe, sent up their prayers and good thoughts to him. A forum thread began on, the sports web publication whose California site of which he was a co-editor, and it bubbled and overflowed with well-wishing. A certain Coach John Flores eloquently noted on the thread, “Every once in awhile the planets line up perfectly and the right person comes along at the right time and makes our lives better. Doug is a man of great dignity, humility and has a true passion for our sport...God Speed.”

    Coach Christopher Schultz was hired by Speck to coach Arcadia High School’s track and field team, but met him before “as far back as almost 20 years ago.”

    “He called the grocery store I was managing—I used to be a walk-on head coach at the time—and asked if I had coached Tommy Richards,” Coach Schultz said, recounting an experience he had in the early 1990s. “We talked for about 20 minutes about Tommy's marks in all of his different events and it was evident that the man on the other end of the phone not only knew the details of the sport of track and field, but also that he loved it.”

    When asked how Speck had mentored him with his job, Coach Schultz related, “He helped me to get acclimated at AHS. Whenever I had a question about anything, I could go to him and I was confident that I was getting help from not only someone who was willing to help, but also knowledgeable in a sport that I have loved all my life.”

    He was not, however, just knowledgeable—that would be an understatement. Larry Elder, a contributor to the sports blog, put it best when he said, “His level of involvement would have made mere mortals shudder.” He not only made the Arcadia Invitational for Track and Field the world class event it is today, but also, being the enthusiast and mystic he was, recognized the importance of the Internet to coverage of high school sports.

    John Dye, the editor in chief of and employer and long time friend to Speck, had this to say, when asked what he discovered in Speck that compelled him to take Speck on as co-editor: “Doug Speck was a giant in high school track. No one in the United States had more knowledge and passion for the sport.” He stayed up nights to input meet results and his work was the lifeblood of the Internet publication. Larry Elder enthused, “Doug Speck and Rich Gonzales went on to the start site, and quite frankly, made it the best high school site on the web!”

    With all the lives Speck touched, news of his death sent shockwaves through the sports community and even further outside of it. “Doug cared about this sport to which I have given up well over half of my adult life,” Coach Schultz said. “He made me feel like it was all worth something.” On a forum thread on, Coach Mike Wilson of Upland Cross Country related, “I have sat here now for 60+ mins trying to write something in memory of Doug. I cannot express my sadness in words…Doug, all my love and respect. God bless my friend.”

    And in a stroke of grace beyond the grave, Speck communicated through his family his wish: "I know that, in lieu of sending flowers, our dad would like to have people show their support for his life by helping to support the Angeles Clinic Foundation and the hard-working doctors who work at the Angeles Clinic, where he had been treated since last May."

    And though he might be remembered for his Olympian feats in the Track and Field world, it should be noted that these gargantuan achievements stemmed from the humble but no less noble source that was his love and dedication to the sport. During Arcadia home meets, he enjoyed the simple pleasure of sitting in the announcer’s booth and providing lively commentary and other sundry information. Friend and coworker Rich Gonzales remarked, “Doug always loved announcing meets from an angle above the action. Now he has the best seat in the house.”

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