With the recent resignation of Doug Soles, head coach of Great Oak High School’s track and field and cross-country teams, who is set to finish off the current cross-country season before parting ways after 17 years, the school administrators have been looking for a new track and field coach for the upcoming season. Recently, the school announced that Teo Beam, the current Great Oak track and field throwing coach, has been named the interim head varsity track and field coach for the 2021 spring season, which starts Thursday, April 22.
Beam, a retired chiropractor, has been at Great Oak High School for the last six years and has experience as a head coach for the Sahuarita Speed University, Youth Track and Field program in Arizona. He was also an assistant coach for the track and field/cross-country programs at Sahuarita High School. Beam is a certified USA track and field coach as well as a certified USA triathlon coach. Beam also recently founded the nonprofit “24-7 Warriors” that helps train disabled veterans in athletics that will help them prepare for the Wounded Warrior Games, U.S. Department of Defense Games and the Invictus Games.
Valley News photographer and Great Oak parent, Rob Davis, recently sat down with Beam to learn more about the new head coach.
RD: Can you elaborate a little more on your overall coaching experience before GOHS?
Coach Beam: I coached in Sahuarita, Arizona, for three years for cross-country and track and field. I also coached high school football (Moreau High School in Hayward; Washington High School in Fremont and Dublin High School in Dublin), and I coached the Great Oak mountain bike team for three years also. Besides my high school coaching I was the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the San Francisco 49ers for a couple of years, was a fitness consultant for Chicago White Sox and I have also trained several NBA players for the Golden State Warriors.
RD: Now that the ban has lifted, what are some of the pressing challenges you face once competition resumes?
Coach Beam: Once competition resumes, we will face the challenges of stiff competition in our own league to start with. Trying to get all the returning students back and in shape. Fortunately, I have been coaching track and field for now my seventh year at GOHS, so most of the track and field and distance athletes know me. Another challenge is having multiple sports training at the same time and having to schedule practice times so that there is space for all.
RD: What does the schedule for the season look like?
Coach Beam: As of now we are scheduled for all five league dual meets and CIF Finals meets are scheduled also. As far as invitationals go, it depends as to what invitationals are scheduled and if we can fit them in our schedule. GOHS has always done well at these meets, and our goal is to continue the success that has been built here in track and field for over the past decade. Great Oak has been known as an elite track and field program with amazing athletes and excellent coaches.
RD: I know it is hard to tell due to the long shut down but what areas do you think your program will excel in and what will need the most work with regards to placing in league?
Coach Beam: League competition will be tough; we have strength across the board in boys and girls. Our throwers are strong, and we would put them up against any team in the state. We have veteran jumpers returning that will pick up where they left off last season. Our pole vaulters are always a strong area for us, and we are developing some good speed in our sprinters and our distance runners are always going to be a force to be reckoned with for anyone.
RD: How has the shutdown affected the athletes (seniors/juniors) with regards to exposure to scholarships?
Coach Beam: Last season when we got shut down, it basically killed any chance of a college scout being able to see your abilities. The late start this season also has made this difficult as colleges have filled many scholarship positions. We have many athletes that are at the elite level that could compete at every level in college. We will let them showcase their talents at league and at some of the invitationals.
RD: Who will, if any, replace you as head coach for throws?
Coach Beam: Since my responsibilities have now increased, I am relying on throws coaches Will Wright and Kris Kirk to lead the throwers to their continued dominance. Along with them I will rely on my veteran coaches (Garcia, Maricic, Robbins, Baran, Martin and returning to GOHS is Isaac Cortez, former state champion in the 800-meter race and 1,600-meter race) to help coach the distance runners.
The Southwestern League track and field season is set to start Thursday, April 22. The CIF California State championships, which are still up in the air, could be held Friday and Saturday, June 25 and 26, at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High School in Clovis. For more information about the Great Oak track and field program, visit https://www.gohsathletics.com/trackfield.
Robert Davis can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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