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In , he played the first Country record at WTHI (Terre Haute, IN) where he stayed for four years. In , he became morning air personality and Program. Prior to joining the Hour News 8 team, Meghan was the weekend sports anchor at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she won an AP Award for best . Prior to joining the Hour News 8 team, Meghan was the weekend sports anchor at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she won an AP Award for best .
After graduation, he invited me back to serve as a graduate assistant. I was responsible for coaching an extremely talented and valuable part of his team. If this group performed poorly, it would have reflected on him, not his graduate assistant. Despite this, he gave me complete autonomy over this group. He never looked over my shoulder, and he never second-guessed the methods that I used.
I learned a lot about working with kids who were not much younger than me, who competed in different events that I competed in, and came from a variety of backgrounds. He treated me like an equal, and I always appreciated that. My thoughts tonight are with the entire Sycamore family — all of the athletes and coaches who followed that first class back in ' To Linda, Janie, Rachael, and Matt, we all thank you for sharing your husband and father with us.
We are all better people for knowing John. Sure, he was a great coach, and everyone knew that. We didn't always agree, but that's the magic with him, that there was always a way. I never got to tell him how much I appreciated him and how much I appreciated his dedication.
He was a stubborn, hard as nails, committed-to-a-cause son of a gun. He may be resting now, but his work is everlasting. Some of us became better runners with him, but all of us became tougher runners and stronger people. Coach certainly was a pillar of many communities -- but more importantly: When tragedy would invariably strike -- many of us turned to Coach for answers and his steady calm was always reassuring.
John's passing cuts so very deep for many reasons -- but for many of us -- our beacon is no longer visible, and we're simply lost momentarily for the correct sentiment to express and understand our loss. I can't separate my life from Coach. I owe my start in coaching to John McNichols. I met my wife, Jessica, through our shared experience in Sycamore Track and Field.
Nearly all of my very best friends are former teammates. Aside from my born family -- what else is there? John McNichols was always my Coach. He was the best educator I ever had. I chose to run for John McNichols for a very simple reason: On that same visit we visited a reclamation site that would slowly become the world's finest cross country course.
Every young person needs to feel special -- that was one of the very best talents of John McNichols. There are very few track coaches who have made impacts on their respective communities in the ways John McNichols has.
Let that soak in for a moment. I believe that one of the main motivators for Coach to make such a difference in Terre Haute was that he simply wanted a better community for his children and grandchildren. I also believed that Coach wanted Terre Haute to be a place where his athletes would put down roots.
I served as an assistant to John McNichols for eight years. Coach believed in my ability to teach this group effectively. It was the greatest compliment in my career as an educator. I loved those athletes, my demeanor fit theirs, we had fun, and we had success. What a genius John McNichols was to place a former distance runner in that position. Coach told me repeatedly that he believed in my ability to identify changes that matter to the athletes. I directed the Championships fromand was supported unconditionally by Coach through many difficult decisions.
Coach McNichols valued toughness over all other character traits. Toughness was showing up and doing your job in high pressure situations. He loathed grandiosity, he relished moments where his toughest athletes went to the line and simply delivered. Our race -- our community's race -- has been called to the line.
It is time for all of us to deliver toughness for the athletes of Indiana State University.
They are hurting at a time in their lives where they are ill-equipped to process and handle a tragedy of this magnitude. We will be judged for eternity by how we support them in this time of great need. We need to be tough -- we need to simply deliver for them. We can make a difference. Lastly, I believe in Heaven. A long running joke among John's assistant coaches was his reason for leaving the office early during the warm months: It is up to us to pick up your life's work now. We will try to do so with great toughness, and hopefully -- kindness.
None of us will get through this tragedy without help. No one gets anywhere without help. We are so very fortunate to have been helped by you. However, there is one that keeps coming back to me that speaks to the genuine man that was John McNichols.
It was the yearly trip to Des Moines for the Drake Relays, but the trip was a special one. It was the day before when after a usual morning run with Coach, he told me to get cleaned up and eat breakfast because he had somewhere he wanted to go. This was where he grew up until his family moved to Bloomington, where he finished school. We spent that morning driving all over the countryside looking at where so-and-so lived and where he went to school.
We even stopped at a home in the downtown where he remembered a very close friend had lived. Coach wondered if his friend's parents still lived there, so he went to the door to find out. An elderly lady slowly cracked open the door and looked puzzled at first.
Then tears came to her eyes when she realized who was standing in front of her. It had probably been nearly 40 years since she had seem him, and he took the time to stop and say hello and see how the family was doing. It was a kind gesture from a kind man. That was John McNichols, a caring, down to earth teacher of life, whose greatest traits were his morality and integrity.
There isn't a day of practice or a day in the classroom where I don't share his influences on me with the kids I work with.
I am forever grateful for having such an influential person in my life. A Godly man who loved his family above all, was passionate about our sport and profession and devoted to Indiana State University. When Northern Iowa joined the Missouri Valley Conference inhe was one of the first coaches to call me and welcome the Panthers into the league.
Since then our teams became fierce rivals, and believe me, there was no let up. Whether it was cross country, indoor or outdoor track, you could count on the Sycamores to bring it.
In particular, as we all know, John always had outstanding hurdlers and sprinters, but he was equally, in my opinion, an outstanding distance coach. I dreaded Valley cross country championship meets; his teams were tough, feisty, and won often. And of course, the LaVern Gibson Cross Country complex speaks of this vision; he was not one dimensional in his coaching. What really made an impression on me though, and what I have tried to emulate in my coaching career, is the relationship he had with his staff, and in particular Coach Gartland.
In fact, I could never figure out for the longest time who was the head coach for the men, the women, or if there was a director. They treated each other with so much mutual respect, I couldn't tell who was in charge. He never acted like the 'head coach' when I was around him. His team philosophy started with him, and his fellow ISU coaches were his teammates, not subordinates. It was powerful, wonderful to watch, and proved to be extremely effective in winning championships and producing champions.
Their student-athletes benefited from this unselfish coaching style in a big way. Finally, despite our competitive battles on the track, there wasn't a meet he didn't ask about my family, how my kids were doing. We talked about our families a lot, always on his initiative. I send my deepest condolences to Linda and the family. I know I speak for many, many coaches: What a fine man. I first came to know John well in just shortly after taking over as head men's track coach at Ball State. He was a dedicated advocate for his athletes, his school, as well as the track and field world.
We shared many hours in committee meetings, at track meets, as well as some social events. I will always remember him for his courtesy, compassion, and tireless efforts to improve all that he was involved with. He was a fierce competitor, rival, and friend. He, Ralph Lindeman, and I celebrated our anniversaries as all three of us were married on either the 19th or 20th of December in So many great memories.
Rest in peace, old friend. All best wishes to Linda and family. I feel fortunate to have worked in close proximity to John this past decade. Professionally speaking, John's knowledge spanning the entire sport was remarkable. In an era of increased specialization, John was a renaissance coach. It's hard to grasp the magnitude of his professional impact. On a personal level I admired his conviction, character, and humility.
I found John to be a great advocate for the coaching profession. He was a tremendous resource for coaches coming up in the business. I always looked forward to seeing him and talking with him at meets. John was a positive influence and role model in my coaching life. I am forever grateful for the impact he had on me and the sport. Like so many others I will miss him deeply. We had a friendly rivalry with ISU and he was always kind and encouraging to me. I saw him at the recent NCAA meet and he took a few minutes to congratulate me on the success of my team even though he was very busy putting on the meet.
That's the kind of person he was. This is a tremendous loss to everyone who knew John and the entire track and field community. John was an old-school coach who could coach all 19 events, but he truly excelled at developing hurdlers and also sprinters. John is irreplaceable and moving forward is going to be really tough for his Family and also the ISU track family. My heart breaks for their loss.
They did so much for me and I've done my very best to continue to pay it forward to my athletes and assistant coaches. I gave him a big hug last week and thanked him again, and I am so glad I was able to do that.
I'm crushed by his passing and know that so many others are as well. I will never forget how important both of them are to so many people.
Indiana State and the track world remember John McNichols - Indiana State University Athletics
I'm so sorry and sad for this loss. What a tremendous leader, mentor, colleague and friend. Indiana State University has lost a legendary coach, the sport of track and field has lost a caring ambassador and the world has lost one of its finest people. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew him, but especially his family, which I know he loved very much.
John McNichols was a gift to all. He had a quiet fire burning inside of him that was just under the skin and which ignited his team at every turn. I often enjoyed digging at him so to light him up and get him going on a topic so I could learn more about why he felt a certain way about an issue. He was articulate, he was passionate, he was a pioneer for Indiana State and the Missouri Valley Conference.
He always wanted to see good track and field. He said to me at our recent meet at EIU, 'We are going to have a very good meet in January against you guys. I said to him, 'We have a hurdler that may be able to keep up with yours,' and he said back, 'That is great, that's good for the Missouri Valley.
It was obvious he was committed to the sport, to its future health and to the athletes he coached and mentored over the years. He was a modestly successful hurdler on the IU track teams in the late 60's and early 70's but that experience apparently spawned a love for the hurdle events that he parlayed into unprecedented success, coaching numerous high level hurdlers during his career.
While he has been a Sycamore for the last 35 years we at IU, where he earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees, will consider him a Hoosier forever. He was an outstanding competitor and the friendly face I always looked forward to seeing whenever we had a chance to compete against one another. I feel deeply for his family during this time as well as the many, many individuals who feel the void with his passing.
He was one of the 'good guys' in the sport and will be missed by us all. He always impressed me as not only a very knowledgeable coach, but a wonderful human being. He has accomplished so many outstanding things during his career coaching at Indiana State University. John was someone I always admired and respected. He had more integrity than anyone I have ever met.
He is someone we will all miss, but certainly never forget. What a great coach and friend; a true gentleman. God bless his family and friends. His legacy will endure and our continued competitions in Terre Haute will have meaning beyond a team score at meet's end. He was truly a visionary in the sports of cross country and track and field. Watching the early development of the Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course from the time I graduated college to its current state that my athletes are able to compete on is a testament to Coach McNichols' vision of what NCAA Cross Country should look like for athletes, coaches, and spectators alike.
Never satisfied with the status quo, Coach McNichols has continued to push for continued improvements to both the course and the student-athlete experience whenever the NCAA Championships were being hosted by Indiana State. His passion and dedication to the sport, the student-athletes, and the coaching profession will be sorely missed. There are many highly skilled coaches, butthere are few who had the dignity and integrity John possessed and displayed.
As a former coach in the Missouri Valley Conference, I know firsthand how tough it is to compete against his teams. They are always ready to go at the championship meets and if you are going to beat them you have to be ready for a dog fight.
The championships speak for themselves, but what I will remember Coach McNichols for was his passion for the sport and how much he cared about his staff, student-athletes and fellow coaches. He made this sport better in so many ways and what a fantastic legacy to leave behind in the work he did on the national cross country course and outdoor track complex.
I appreciate all he did for me as a coach and understand from the outpouring of support what an amazing impact he made on so many people. Coach you will be missed by many. Thanks for all you did for each of us! Coach McNichols never wavered from his thoughts, or intent. He cared tremendously about the well-being and promotion of the MVC, its members, and the sport of track and field. I will miss him. I can't imagine a league track coaches meeting without the benefit of his extraordinary knowledge and his steady, positive influence on the group.
The MVC and I lost a great friend today. Often times we remember people for what they were rather than who they were.
He was a humble man of integrity. Anyone who ever had the opportunity to talk with Coach McNichols is a better person because of it.
The track and field and cross country world lost one of the finest men to ever grace our sports. We will miss you, Coach McNichols, but your footprints have left a lasting impression forever on our sports.
My deepest sympathies and prayers to the entire McNichols family and the Indiana State community. Coach McNichols was a good ambassador for the sport and he will certainly be missed.
I worked very closely with John during my time at Southern Illinois, and he never failed to impress as someone who was not only an excellent coach, but as someone who also cared so deeply about making this sport and our conference as good as it could possibly be.
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Everyone is in my thoughts and prayers. We have lost a great person, coach, educator and visionary. He will be sorely missed! Blessings to all of you. John was one of a kind; he has impacted the lives of so many young men and women. We here at Purdue University send our deepest sympathies and our thoughts and prayer for John's family and the student-athletes at Indiana State University.
- Davis Park
- WTHI-TV News Team
- Indiana State Athletics
He was a leader and mentor to so many, more than he probably ever knew. Aside from all that he accomplished as a coach and contributed to our sport, John was a wonderful person, devoted to his family and friends.
He was always there to lend advice and help out in anyway. He was passionate about doing things the right way for the right reasons, especially in our sport.
He worked tirelessly to make all of us better at our craft, no matter what it was in track and field. His legacy will remain in all of us, and it will be up to all of us to carry it on and pay it forward.
He will be sorely missed in the MVC. John was one of the great ones in our sport. If you looked up 'track coach' in a dictionary you wouldn't be surprised to see John's name and picture as the definition. He cared deeply about Indiana State, his athletes and his fellow coaches, but at heart his family was always paramount.
We always enjoyed the sometimes hair-raising trips in his gator over and around the course during the NCAA meets. I had so much fun with 'the Johns' in the meets at ISU.
There will be an empty spot in my heart, and those of his athletes and so many friends and colleagues, at future NCAA XC championships. He was a good friend, an incredible innovator for our sport, and a class act at all times. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, Linda, his family, and the Indiana State community. One of my fondest memories of John was watching him and co-meet director, John Gartlandblowing the standing water off the cross country course the day before the NCAA meet.
A lot of people were concerned about the puddles and the muddy conditions on the course, so in John's inimitable style, he rolled up his sleeves and went to work. He never complained, but rather looked for solutions.
Our thoughts are with his family and to all of those his life touched. He fulfilled all the roles embodied in a coach — he was a teacher, mentor, and a person who served his institution and community well.
We will always be mindful of his lifelong dedication. Coaching against his teams were no different than running against his athletes. It always demanded your best effort of the year physically and mentally. His kids were fully prepared to compete as if that meet were their last. Coach McNichols and Coach Gartland shared their entire 'playbook' with us.
We had an open line to them nearly 24 hours a day and I used it a lot. He also travels the state co-producing the weekly Kentucky Farm Bureau Minute, which is sent to all Farm Bureau county offices and is uploaded to numerous KFB social media properties.
In addition to his teaching, Dan also produces award-winning creative work and has received 10 first-place awards from the National Broadcasting Society. Ralph Merkel — Governor University of Louisville, Louisville, KY Ralph Merkel has been a member of the Communication Department faculty at the University of Louisville sinceteaching video production, advanced video, journalism and campus media classes.
He involves high-level students in the production of the studio-based program. He also pioneered streaming media at the university long before YouTube by video-streaming a speech by Hillary Clinton in He is asked to speak at conferences about his use of streaming media in education.
He founded the Louisville Media Institute in to serve as a training ground for college journalists in the region. She started off as a public policy reporter and associate producer. A former adjunct professor of media writing at Georgetown College in Kentucky.
Renee has trained journalists in Southeast Asia on reporting principles and standards, and produced multi-platform, public policy reports for a national news service. She travels across the state moderating public issues forums and speaking about diversity, media, political and state legislative matters. His is a two time Emmy Award nominated anchor and reporter. In fact, some of his investigations have led to legislative action, like his in-depth reports on water and ground contamination from an abandoned toxic site affecting an Asheville, North Carolina community to a series of reports on the dangers of cyberbullying and legal action taken against an accused teenager.
A 30 year military veteran with a tour of duty in Iraq, Pat has served his community, state and country as an officer in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. Pat is an avid runner who achieved his life-long goal of qualifying for and completing the Boston Marathon He became the Chief Photographer in After a stint on the assignment desk fromSimpson decided photography was more fun and went back on the road.