Luck of The Draw

In looking over my life, it's interesting to realize how often some luck has been involved. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area led to learning to love the Pacific Ocean and to getting to attend Sequoia High School in Redwood City, a school that I later realized had prepared me for winning National Championships, and medals in two Olympics. Our family's move to Montana led to lots of great hunting and fishing with brother Danny, and attending the University of Montana led to Danny, brother Jerry and I all being smoke jumpers for the U.S. Forest Service. That work also prepared Jerry for successful years with the CIA in Laos and Thailand, work that earned him three CIA medals of honor. Brother Kent was Montana State Trap-shooting champ and State champ in high school wrestling. My 4 years of military service sent me to Korea where I learned about the sport of modern pentathlon, and which also sent me to a year of study in a great Sport Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Next came graduate studies at the universities of Oklahoma and Wisconsin, which also led to many outstanding years of research in exercise physiology and how to be a successful running coach. Coaching years found me starting men's track and cross-country at Oklahoma City University, National Track Coach in the country of Peru, and women's track and cross-country coach at University of Texas. Then 6 years of research with Nike, followed by 19 years coaching runners at the State University of New York in Cortland to numerous national titles. I also began coaching post-collegiate runners, several of whom competed in Olympic Games, including a Silver-Medal winner in women's marathon. However, all of these accomplishments all take second place to my marriage to Nancy Jo Scardina, who was first a great runner (Olympic Trials qualifier in the totally-different events of 1500 and marathon), then was my Assistant Coach for 25 years during which she also became the mother of our two wonderful daughters, Audra Marie and Sarah Tupper. Sarah is an opera singer in New York City and Audra a very dedicated worker at the University of Washington in Seattle. Nancy has become a Registered Nurse and is as dedicated to that profession as she was to her running career. I always envy those for whom she provides aid. Few people have had the luck I have had. God bless Nancy Jo, Audra Marie and Sarah Tupper.

--Jack Daniels



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