WASHINGTON, Pa. — It was an opportunity that Dale Boring just could not pass up.
Boring, who spent the past three years coaching cross country and track at Mars High School, was named the head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Washington & Jefferson College Jan. 13. His tenure officially began last Wednesday.
“This is my first collegiate coaching job and I’m ecstatic about this opportunity,” said Boring. “It’s going to be different from high school, but fun nonetheless.”
“Dale did a great job here at Mars,” said Mars athletic director Scott Heinauer. “He’s a coach who cares about the student athletes. It’s not easy losing a coach like him.
“Coaching in college is something that he wanted to do and I’m happy for him,” he added. “We plan to recommend a new (boys track) coach at February’s school board meeting.”
Boring currently lives in Adams Township, but hopes to move closer to Washington & Jefferson’s campus.
“It’s 47 miles from my front door to the school,” he said. “I want to immerse myself in my new job and the sooner I can find a place down there, the better.”
Aside from his experience as a high school coach, Boring has also helped athletes reach their full potential through his speed and agility camps for the last 15 years.
“Coach Boring has a proven track record in helping to develop young talent in both cross country and track & field,” said Washington & Jefferson athletic director Bill Dukett in a press release. “With his experience as a scholastic coach and his training academy, I am confident in his ability to continue the recent success our programs have achieved.”
The thought of taking over as indoor track and field coach in mid-season did not deter Boring, who acknowledges he has a lot on his plate.
“The indoor teams at W&J basically went half the season without a head coach,” he said. “I want to take the time to get to know the kids and talk with as many of them individually as I can. I want to develop those relationships with our athletes, then start to put things together the way I believe they need to be. I also need to jump on recruiting. I’m really behind with that.”
On one hand, Boring will be coaching three separate sports — one each in the fall, winter and spring — but he doesn’t see it that way.
“It’s not like I’m coaching women’s soccer and women’s softball, that would be really tough,” he said. “A lot of the kids we recruit will be running track and cross country. I know the track teams will have jumpers and throwers too, but the way I look at it, I’ll be coaching the same sport year-round.”
No matter the season, Boring’s goals are clear as he delves into the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.
“I’m a competitor,” he said. “I want to win PAC titles.”
Boring, who turned 43 on Sunday, is looking forward to one challenge in particular.
“I want to put the team approach into all of the teams I’m coaching at W&J,” he said. “From everything I have been told, that has been lacking.”
Boring, who coached track at Knoch High School for five years prior to taking over at Mars, led the Planets’ girls cross country team to the WPIAL Class AA team title last fall. In 2012, the Mars boys harriers placed second in the WPIAL under his guidance.
“For me, it wasn’t about wins and losses,” Boring said. “During my interview at W&J, I was asked what the hardest part about leaving the high school kids would be for me. It’s definitely the relationships I formed. The kids bought in hook, line and sinker to what they were being taught. It was pretty emotional for me to leave that behind.”