Bryan Hoddle was selected to be featured as our “In the Spotlight” by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. After we did our background work, we couldn’t agree more and reached out to Bryan. We believe that sometimes it’s not about getting on the podium, winning a race or even being a competitor for a competition. It’s about inspiring, teaching, mentoring or coaching others to reach for a higher goal. Whether it is in sports or a very personal achievement, being supportive of others, deserves recognition.
Well Bryan Hoddle is certainly a person who fulfills such a profile beyond any typical measurement.
Bryan Hoddle, is a former 400-meter runner from the state of Washington. He is a graduate of Central Washington University where he majored in Physical Education and minored in Education.
He taught history at Tenino Middle School . His career teaching covered 34 years in the State of Washington. Bryan’s career spanned decades being a running coach. His passion to inspire others to achieve only grew stronger throughout his career. While a coach at his middle school, Bryan grew the program from 48 boys and girls to over 320 athletes in just 3 short years.
Bryan is known as Coach Hoddle or simply the Coach. He is highly respected in the track and field community for his profound knowledge and giving demeanor. During his tenure coaching high school, his track athletes have amassed over 25 state championships, as well as numerous national age group titles.
When Bryan was young he dreamed of one day being in the Olympics, taking in the grandeur of the event and capturing the hearts of others by his accomplishments. Certainly all his dreams came true but in a very different form.
Coach Hoddle, with the support of H. Ross Perot, coached Tony Volpentest, the 1996 Paralympics 100 meter and 200-meter champion. Bryan also coached Marlon Shirley, the world’s fastest amputee and the 2000 and 2004 Paralympics 100-meter Champion.
Coach Hoddle was selected by the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Committee to carry the Olympic torch in Olympia, WA on January 23, 2002. He also served as the Head Coach for the 2004 USA Paralympics Track and Field Team. He led that squad of athletes to a total of 28 medals in Athens, Greece.
But it wasn’t until Coach Hoddle went to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to conduct a running clinic for injured soldiers in 2004, he realized a greater calling. This simple workshop on running changed Coach Hoddle’s direction and gave what he said was “true meaning” to his life. Coach Hoddle said:
“When I walked into the room the first thing I saw was a 19-year-old soldier with a helmet on his head, stacking blocks, and another was in a wheelchair had shrapnel wounds all over his face, missing an arm, missing a leg, who was just staring at me. I left, went into the bathroom, and cried. At that moment, I realized God hadn’t sent me to Walter Reed to do a running clinic, but to give these people hope. I want these guys—who have lost so much—to begin to think, ‘I can do this’. When an injured soldier says you gave them hope, that’s the equivalent of watching the American flag go up at the Paralympics and the national anthem being played. “
Today Coach Hoddle works extensively with injured soldiers helping amputees, traumatic brain injuries, blind and wheelchair soldiers, find their inner strength once again.
Just a few of Coach Hoddle’s achievements and accolades are:
- Selected as A Veterans of Foreign War Teacher of the Year for the State of Washington
- Recipient of the Veterans of Foreign War National Citizenship Education Teacher Award
- Honored by the Washington State House of Representatives for his work with disabled athletes and injured soldiers
- Named a Hero of the Year by Runner’s World
- Multiple winner of the Pacific Northwest Track and Field Ken Foreman Contributor Award
- Received the USATF Presidents Award
- Personal coach of two Paralympic Gold Medalist – sprinters Tony Volpentest and Marlon Shirley
- Head Coach for the 2004 USA Paralympics Track and Field Team held in Athens, Greece
- Coaching and working with over 1,000 military veterans
Coach Hoddle is also a nationally respected motivational speaker. His ability to motivate and inspire continues as he talks to business leaders, civic leaders, athletes, parents and school children about the five the characteristics of a champion and how to apply those characteristics in one’s life;
“Helping others” are two words to describe Coach Bryan Hoddle or you could greet him by simply calling him “the Coach”.