Port Angeles High School
Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Bob Sheedy began coaching track and field at Manson High School in 1969. He became the head coach at Port Angeles High School in 1972. Forty-three years later, Coach Sheedy decided to step down from his head coaching position at Port Angeles. Very few coaches achieve a successful career that lasts longer than forty years. Coach Sheedy didn’t just achieve that, he became an important mentor to a huge number of athletes who consider him to be one of the most important people in their lives! To have that kind of lasting impact is a testament to the transformational powers of the coaching profession. As many would attest, he is known for always having a story to share with others. Today, we get to share his story, one that provides inspiration to track and field coaches around the state!
Bob was born in Iowa, attended school in Chicago, and ended up in the Shoreline area when his parents migrated from Chicago. He achieved athletic success in high school playing three sports: football, basketball and track and field. Upon graduation in 1959, he attended Central Washington University but was forced to leave after one semester and join the Army. Following his service to his country, Bob played one year of basketball at Peninsula College on the school’s first team in 1963-1964. Needing to make money to continue his college education, he went to work at Boeing and then attended Shoreline Community College. It was his old high school football coach and his old high school track and field coach who gave him tuition and an opportunity. He completed his college education at Western Washington University. Upon graduating, Bob began a career in education that provided him the opportunity to coach. Over his career, he coached football, basketball, swimming, and soccer. Coach Sheedy was a genuine proponent of the multi-sport athlete! But it is track and field that is Coach Sheedy’s true love!
Coach Sheedy built a successful program at Port Angeles over his forty-two years. He was responsible for starting the girls cross country program and building that into a very successful program along with the boys team. His boys and girls teams combined to win 30 cross country league championships which provided a great many distance runners who went on to achieve great success in track. Coach Sheedy mentored eight state champions at Port Angeles. The number of individual track and field champions on the league and district levels is too large to list. Coaching at a time when dual meets held great significance, he guided his girls teams at Port Angeles to a period of 15 years without a home loss. He mentored Greg Thomas who went on to jump 7’ 0 ½” in the high jump at WSU after setting multiple school records. He mentored Sherri Felton who led the nation in the high jump in 1977 and went on to become the first girl at the University of Washington to jump over six feet in 1978. Coach Sheedy mentored Karena Greeny who became the greatest female thrower in Port Angeles history. He mentored Penny Graves who went on to compete at the University of Oregon as a six-time track and cross country All-American and an important member of the Duck’s elite women’s distance squads in the late 1980’s that led Oregon to a trio of Pac-10 Conference championships and one national team title.
It is with great honor that we welcome Bob Sheedy into the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame. His tireless commitment to the sport, his important mentorship of his athletes, his collaborative work with all his coaching colleagues, his important contributions, and his service to the WSTFCA, provide us with the opportunity to recognize him with this honor!