Coach Block retires after 13 years
In the dictionary, a coach is defined as someone who trains an athlete or a team of athletes.
Chuck Block has coached the LCC cross country and track teams, but he has done much more than instruct students how to run faster. He has been a mentor to young men and women.
After 13 years Block has decided to retire from coaching at LCC leaving a legacy that will be remembered as one of the best to come through the Capital City.
“I’ve put in a lot of great years,” Block said. “I decided that it was time to devote more of my attention to my running foundation and I want to spend more time with my grandkids.”
Academics should be the no. 1 goal for any student/athlete and coach. Block has reached out to his runners with the motivation to be successful down the road, sending numerous runners to Division I and NAIA schools.
“He wants me to leave LCC with a degree and that means a lot that a guy like him would step up and help a guy like me,” LCC sophomore Chris Gantt said.
A coach’s goal should be to leave a program better then when they found it. Block undoubtedly has left LCC in the position to be competitive for years to come.
The LCC men’s cross country team has not lost the Region XII meet since 1996. The women have failed to win the regional only twice in the same span.
“My main goal was to dominate Region XII,” Black said. “I wanted to be the best junior college cross country team in the Midwest.”
Block’s men’s teams have finished in the top 10 nationally nine of the past 10 years and won the NJCAA National Title in 2007. His women’s team has finished top 10 nationally every year since 2004, finishing as high as third in 2010, and fourth in 2012 and 2013.
Gantt has run for Block the last two years. During that time Gantt earned All Region XII, All MCCAA Team, and All MCCAA Freshman Team honors.
“He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had, period,” Gantt said. “He helped me become a better runner; he taught me how to run.”
Forging close relationships with athletes is one of the greatest memories a coach can take away from a successful career.
“He is a really good friend of mine,” Gantt said. “He has really helped me a lot and I can’t thank him enough. It’s sad to see him go, but he has bigger and better things ahead of him and I’m happy to see him move on.”