ENID — While Coleman put in long hours, the sport brought him closer to family.
All four of his children earned track scholarships — Jason to the University of Oklahoma, where he still holds some school relay records and Jim Bob, Heather and Jennifer to Oklahoma Baptist University. Jim Bob was an NAIA All-American.
“I was able to spend more time with my kids because they competed,’’ Coleman said. “I think I was able to influence them more because of that.
“When you’re coaching your kids, everybody else says it looks like they have an advantage. They probably had a disadvantage because of it. The advantage for them was they had grown up around it. They knew what was expected out of them. They were good kids and good leaders and were a big part of our success in the late 1990s and early 2000s.’’
Neither boy played high school football because of their size. The family that competed together, though, stayed together.
“We never had any serious problems because they enjoyed it as much as I did,’’ Coleman said. “We already had become a tradition in track and football. The kids expected to do well and they wanted to be part of it. They weren’t different from any other kid.’’
His wife, Liz, too, has been by his side with support and understanding.
“She enjoys it,’’ Coleman said. “She takes care of the other stuff for me. She always made sure the uniforms were ready and that we had something to eat. She would let me know if someone was having a problem and would talk with parents. She did the behind-the-scenes stuff that was a big help over the years.’’