Some of you may know that Jimmy Carnes has been battling cancer over the years.
Well, it is with great sadness that I report that the disease that has ravished his body has finally won. On Saturday, around noon, Jimmy passed away with his family at his side.
I am trying to piece together some of his contributions and wanted others to add or correct if possible.
1. Founder of the Florida Track Club which brought thousands of runners to Gainesville to train. The most famous being Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic Champion who began the USA running boom, Jack Bachelor, Jeff Galloway, Dr. Robert Cade(founder of Gatorade), John L. Parker Jr, Dave Roberts(Bronze Medal, PV),Barry Brown, Byron Dyce, Roy Benson and countless others
2. Co-founder of the Athletic Attic, the forefather of all athletic specialty retail stores.
Athletic Attic fielded a racing team which included
Marty Liquori, national broadcaster
* Co-President at The Timberland Company
* SVP Global Product and Design/ Footwear at Reebok
* Director Sales/Retail Marketing The Jordan Brand at Nike
3. Founder of the USTFCCCA, the college coaches association
4. TAC(formerly USATF president) responsible for allowing track and field athletes to become professional.
5. Founder of the Florida Track and Field Junior Champ Program that has been running since 1967. Borne out of that was Roy Benson's Distance Running Camp, one, if not the first distance summer running camp.
6. Synthetic tracks- one of the first synthetic all weather tracks was at the University of Florida.
7. Founder of the Florida Track and Field Hall of Fame
8. Director of the Florida Governor's Council on Sport and Physical Fitness where he established the Florida Sunshine State Games and the Florida Senior Games.
Mrs. Carnes mentioned that the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Track and Field Meet touched Coach Carnes deeply. He was tremendously honored to see so many with participating in the sport he loved so much.
Thanks to the meet's founders, Jack Hughes(Gainesville Sports Commission CEO) and Larry Holsey( Gainesville Striders and Gainesville High School coach), for creating this opportunity for athletes across the state and nation and more importantly to the thousands that have participated over the last 4 years. We hope that thousands more will participate in the future.
In closing, if all of us can do 10% of what this man has done, track and field/cross country will go on growing to be THE greatest sports in the world. Jimmy Carnes was a dreamer, but also a doer. When speaking with him, most of his thougts would begin with "Well, there wasn't a [ ], so I decided to [ ] so there would be one."
There are so many doing so much for the sport, we can't lose: flrunners.com, the FYRA, FACA, NSSF, Dyestat...... But, we can always take it to another level.
More on Jimmy
Video Interview with Jimmy Carnes at his meet in January
Possibly the last video interview with Mr. Carnes. Todd Grasley of flrunners.com talked with him at the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Classic in January about his thoughts on that meet and the state of track & field.