ELYRIA — Elyria High has hired a person whose name is synonymous with its track and field program to be its new boys coach.
Robert Madison, whose daughters Tianna and Christina helped lead the Pioneers to the 2003 girls Division I state championship, has been hired to replace Daryl Nalle.
Nalle stepped down to spend more time with his family.
“I consider it a real honor to come back to Elyria High,” said Madison, a 1976 EHS graduate along with Pioneers girls coach Jackie Below. “There’s a lot of talent there. I’m overwhelmed by the opportunity that this affords me and my family.”
Madison has 20 years of coaching experience, including six years as an assistant to Nalle and current Elyria athletic director Jerry Chizmar, and two years at Oberlin College. He trained at the Olympic Training Center in California in 2002 and completed the Olympic Trials Coaches Super Clinic in Oregon over the summer.
“I want to really touch these athletes,” Madison said. “I want them to be well-rounded with a good view about their track efforts. I want them to set goals that they can reach.
“I feel discipline is a big part of running track or participating in any sport. If discipline isn’t there, then potential will never come out. Good discipline carries over to one’s school work, family life and everyday life in the community.”
Madison and his wife, Jo Ann, reside in Elyria. They have three daughters and two grandchildren.
Tianna is returning to her academic studies, this time at the University of Southern Florida, where she will continue to concentrate on being a world-class long jumper and possibly returning to sprinting.
Christina is a junior at Purdue, where she continues to excel as a sprinter and in the jumping events.
“I look at this hiring as being a way for me to give back to the Elyria community,” Madison said. “It’s a chance for me to help the students here become better athletes and also better students and citizens.”
Madison plans to retain the assistant coaches who worked with Nalle, including Tim Johnson, who is one of his cousins.