Mr. Fife’s race to success


Emma Braman and Lucy Williams

Whether you know him from his jokes on the announcements, his coaching over the years, or as a friendly school counselor, you definitely know the famous Mr. Fife. As he’d say, he’s “fine and dandy, cotton candy!” But did you know that he’s been the boys’ cross country coach for the past 20 years? 

Mr. Fife ran cross country all throughout his school years at Carroll High School in Flora, Indiana. He also coached tennis and basketball for a number of years at Seymour High School before he decided to coach the boys’ cross country team. When Fife saw the chance to coach for SHS, he didn’t hesitate to sprint for the opportunity! His love and passion for cross country in high school influenced his decision on coaching in his adult years.

Mr. Fife was quick to convey pride for his team’s success for this season. The progress they had made during the 2022 cross country season was simply phenomenal. Coach Fife had no idea how far his boys would go, considering they hadn’t had a very strong pre-season during the summer.  Overall, he wasn’t sure if his team would manage to live up to the expectations that had been set, but Fife’s group of guys… They closed the gap between their first and second varsity runners, and got a pack of boys that ran 2nd-7th places in every meet. 

Coach Fife made it clear that he wants his athletes to treat each other with respect and kindness both on and off the course. He stated, “Cross country is classified as an individual sport by the IHSAA, but we don’t treat it as an individual sport; we treat it as a team sport, so being a good teammate is important…” Becoming a group that is connected with one another makes a strong and successful team, which is exactly what the boys have accomplished this year.

Coach Fife also looks for competitive spirit from his team. He wants young men who aren’t willing to back down, see cross country as a challenge, and put forth effort because they want to win and better themselves. He wants his runners to have a memorable cross-county experience, so they can build relationships that will last a lifetime. He wants them to create experiences that influence them to believe they can do anything they choose to put effort towards.

At the end of our interview, Coach Fife made a very memorable statement. He remarked, “You won’t regret running cross country. And you don’t have to like running to do it; you don’t have to be good to do it. There’s all kinds of individual goals you can set for yourself, doesn’t matter if you’re the number one runner, number fifteen runner, or number twenty runner. You can have a positive experience. It’s very much a team atmosphere, and you will learn a lot about yourself by running. So the message is, cross country is not just for runners; it can be for everybody. And I think you will not regret running if you come out and run for us.” 

If you’re looking to try a challenging sport, to get into running, or even to experience a new atmosphere with new people to be around, try out cross country. You will be surrounded by encouraging teammates and coaches and will make memories to last a lifetime. And, as Coach Fife says, you won’t regret it!

Coach Fife has influenced several groups of runners over the years, making a huge mark on Seymour and its athletes. Fife is not only a wonderful human, but a great model for who we strive to be as Seymour Owls. Owls will!