As we transition from the just-completed cross country season, we will start to add track and field coaches (and many that coach both seasons) to our California coaching legend series. We have a lot of choices that cover the entire spectrum of events but as always, if you have coaches that you would like to nominate, please let us know on twitter @milesplitCA or you can email us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
If you started listing the most successful Track and Field coaches in California history, James Logan coach Lee Webb would be high on your list. The team's slogan which was started in the 90s is "Believe to Achieve" and his athletes and teams have definitely achieved. Many of the school's records were set during his tenure and you can find them at this LINK. I don't think there are too many schools in the nation that could compare to James Logan when it comes to their incredible depth of performances in so many events.
Coach Webb was born on a dairy farm which is where he learned how to work. He participated in cross country, football, track and field, baseball, golf and basketball during his youth. At Southern Oregon University, Coach Webb participated on the football, basketball and track and field teams. He eventually graduated from Oregon State University and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. He also participated in the Olympics Trials in the Decathlon and Javelin.
He started teaching at James Logan High School in 1992 as well as coaching the cross country and track and field teams. Starting out with 9 girls and 22 boys, his teams eventually swelled to over 300 track and field athletes. His first year coaching cross country, Coach Webb started with 15 students and that numbered grew to 125 athletes. The love of his athletes can be seen in the 2013 video below when Cal-Hi Sports did a feature on the legendary coach.
"It's hard to laud Lee too much. And he is so deflective about taking credit. But he has built and rebuilt his program over the last three decades and reinvented himself as jumps coach, sprint coach, and distance coach. He has done remarkable work on the youth and club level in addition to his high school work and was also selected as a USATF coach for a Youth team (15-18) at a world championships. He's had to deal with cancer taking his ex-wife, and beating back melanoma himself. He has attracted some of the best assistant coaches around, and sent too many athletes to college, with some becoming NCAA scorers, USATF national finalists, and Olympic Trials qualifiers.
And to run into the guy and talk with him, you'd come away convinced that it was an accident for all the credit he takes. He has put on major meets, continues to host Pacific Association summer meets and Special Olympics, and does the sub-section area meets for NCS. And through it all, he is genuinely a nice guy."