A Dallas high school icon, Roosevelt track coach Earnest James will retire in May. The 67-year-old James has coached Olympians and also contributed one of my favorite quotes. While many offered advice on how to help Roosevelt star and future Olympian Roy Martin run faster than his 10-second 100 meters, James said:
"I don't need help with Roy. But if they want to help with some of these 11 and 12 (second) guys, they can."
James built Roosevelt's program into national prominence while running after school on a worn down dirt track at a park near school. Martin was a sprinter who drew record crowds in Dallas and at the Texas Relays and state track meet in Austin. James also coached Olympic hurdler McClinton Neal. James kept alive ties to the now-defunct Prairie View Interscholastic League with his annual track meet to honor James' high school coach Raymond Hollie.
James has been at Roosevelt since it opened in 1963. Also a successful and noted history teacher, James has been Roosevelt athletic director the last five years. He may continue to coach on a part-time basis.