|Rolle in national coaching spotlight|
Guardian Columnist/Sales Executive
Published: Apr 05, 2012
Noted veteran track and field coach Henry Rolle has been placed squarely in the national coaching spotlight by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA). The recent development was an indication that the BAAA decision makers want a break from the erratic efforts that resulted from simply, poor coaching over the last two years or so.
The incidents of failure, particularly with the reputed Bahamian 1,600 meters (m) relay team, have been disappointing to say the least. There is no need at this point to chronicle the missteps of inefficient coaches. It’s just real good that Rolle is now there in a position to ensure that our relay efforts are the best possible.
We have, in my mind, from a pure talent perspective, one of the top three men’s 1,600 meters relay pool in the world. Leading a deep bench of quarter-milers are Demetrius Pinder and the venerable Chris Brown.
Quite bluntly, anything less than a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics would be a disappointment. I really believe that if we can move through the passing zones smoothly, the gold medal is a distinct possibility. This is the area in which Rolle’s expertise will be greatly needed.
I believe this to be a good step by the BAAA. I wish not to throw the locally based coaches under the bus. It makes good sense though to bring in and keep in the mix, our Bahamian coaching mentors who have excelled abroad. Rolle is a case in point.
The Auburn University official athletic site speaks volumes of Coach Rolle. His backdrop is one of magnificent accomplishments with his athletes.
“Henry Rolle is in his 15th season on The Plains and works with Auburn’s women’s sprinters, jumpers and hurdles. In 2011 six women were featured as sprinters that qualifying for NCAA outdoor nationals and a total of three All-American selections. The season was highlighted by
second-place finishes by the 4X400 relay team and by Joanna Atkins in the 400 meters. Atkins also earned an SEC outdoor title in the 400 meters.
“During the 2010 NCAA season, Rolle’s sprinters excelled as usual, led by Sheniqua Ferguson, who won the NCAA indoor title in the 200 meters, earned five All-American honors and was named the SEC Female Runner of the Year during the outdoor season after earning the Commissioner’s Trophy as the high point scorer at the meet. Rolle also coached Atkins to four All-American honors, Nivea Smith to three and four others to one each.
“Rolle’s 2009 season was highlighted at the collegiate level with Joanna Atkins’ national title in the 400 meters, while professionally he coached Kerron Stewart, Marc Burns and Joanne Lucas to medals at the World Championships.”
Rolle has also coached Olympic medalists inclusive of some of the above and fellow Bahamian Leevan Sands. Those are solid credentials and are largely overlooked by Bahamians up to now. Rolle’s task is challenging, but if anybody can bring out the finest efforts from our relay teams, he can.
Best wishes to him!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)