I hardly know where to start with this guy so I’ll plunge right in:
He’s made a Huge impact in Nebraska. His training has been used by most of the Team Nebraska distance corps, former Team Nebraska distance athletes, and is trickling down to those that have never even heard of him, until today.
That doesn’t even scratch the surface.
Born July 11, 1941 in Muirkirk, Scotland. Personal bests: 800 meters- 1:50.2, 1500- 3:48, Mile- 4:07. One of the first Scots to receive an athletics scholarship to the United States- Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas (aka Pecker Tech, I also attended there from 1987-1990). Upon his arrival at Lamar he found the football coach was also head track coach. He began training himself and the rest of the middle and distance runners.
Best performance: 1963 Meet of Champions Mile where he won and defeated Jim Ryun, running his pr 4:07 in 90 degree heat.
In 1963 Jim finished 2nd at the USATFF (US Track & Field Federation) Cross Country National Championships. He ran the 10K course in 30:17 (#11 below) being beaten only by Olympian Tom O’Hara’s (#22) 30:12.
Jim was a 1964 hopeful for the Olympics for his native Scotland but the rigorous competitive schedule at Lamar left him tired and unable to peak at the right time, that dream would never be realized. But he would make an impact on many future Olympians with his training knowledge.
In the photo below Jim (black singlet and visor) leads former 800 meter WR holder and 1972 800 meter Olympic Bronze medalist Rick Wolhuter in a mile race, 1974. Both competed for the Chicago Track Club at the time.
In 1975 Jim moved to Houston. He and 1956 Olympic 10000 Bronze Medalist Allan Lawrence formed the Houston Harriers. Of note to Nebraskans, Olympian Leonard Hilton ran for the Harriers before coming to Omaha and working for several years. Team Nebraska is modeled after the Harriers, excellence being the standard. It was at this point that Jim began his legendary coaching. Following is a list of Olympians coached by Jim:
1984, Midde Hamrin, Sweden, Marathon (Midde also attended Lamar)
1996, Justin Chaston, Great Britain, Steeplechase
1996, Sean Wade, New Zealand, Marathon
2000, Justin Chaston, GB, Steeplechase
2004, Justin Chaston, GB, Steeplechase
And World Championships competitors coached by Jim: *Carol is Jim’s wife and was my original mentor into the administrative ranks of USATF.
1985, Carol McLatchie, 15K, Gateshead
1987, Carol McLatchie, Marathon, Seoul
1989, Charlotte Thomas, Marathon, Milam
1991, Carol McLatchie, Marathon – World Cup, London
1991, Joy Smith, Marathon – World Cup, London
1991, Joy Smith, Marathon, Tokyo
1991, Joy Smith, Half Marathon, Gateshead
1995, Justin Chaston, Steeplechase, Gothenburg
1997, Patty Valadka, Marathon, Greece
2003, Sylvia Mosqueda, Marathon, Paris
2006, Max King, Cross-Country, Fukuoka
2008, Max King, Cross-Country, Edinburgh
Jim now coaches athletes at Summit High School in Bend, OR. His charges at the small division school have developed into an all class powerhouse defeating much bigger programs. While his training principles haven’t changed much he does now include yoga as part of their weekly regimen. Never too old to learn new tricks, the hallmark of a Great Coach.
I want to take this moment and thank Jim for being my original coaching mentor. For always being available to answer questions, for guiding me through the McLatchie Method Marathon Training Program (including the infamous “Ball Buster”!, Like Jim I would never ask my charges to attempt something I have never tried myself) in 2009, for his continued work with/for our Team Nebraska athletes. Look at the training logs of any of our top Nebraska athletes, regardless of where they post, and you’ll see his inspiration lives on and will carry on for generations to come.
Jim currently is a Member of the Great Britain elite coaching squad for the steeplechase,
Jim McLatchie, the Original Good Mate.
The gruff old Scot at this past weekend’s Olympic Trials Marathon. Linda finally got to meet the architect of one of the most difficult and successful marathon training programs in the country. She has completed the full program 3 times and is one of the top 45-49 females in the country as a result.
A quote from Jim on his coaching philosophy: “ ‘Don’t come out if you don’t mean to follow the instructions,’ McLatchie said, ‘There was always only one boss – me. And that’s how it has to be. Someone has to take control. I always tell people to tell me what they want to accomplish. If they can’t tell me that, I’m not interested. There are enough sheep in this life without me getting any more of them. If you could come to track and be disciplined in the workouts, it would help you in your life outside the track.'”
And A closing quote from Brian Scobie:
““He certainly was an influence on me in the ways he trained and where he took his inspiration from. At the time he was staying in Milngavie, he was working for the railways on the south side of Glasgow, having escaped from Mauchline and the fate of the mines. He was already past the stages of creating a running track on disused railway track and running up pit bings in boots. But these things linked Jim to mavericks like Gordon Pirie and beyond him back to the great Emil Zatopek Pirie was maybe his way back to the great Emil Zatopek, as well as to the Cerutty group in Australia with its sand dunes. To me he stood in that lineage in terms of training attitudes and inspiration as much as in training modes.. He is a man with huge charisma. Stubborn as a mule when he thinks he’s right. A great pal to have. Generous to a fault.”
Photos and some information from this site dedicated to preserving the athletics heritage of Scotland:
Jim, #7, from his days in Scotland.