The Student News Site of Grayslake Central High School

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The Student News Site of Grayslake Central High School

RamsMedia

The Student News Site of Grayslake Central High School

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Motivation Through the Miles: Coach G

Coach+G+with+his+runners+at+the+2021%0ATrack+%26+Field+State+Series
Coach G with his runners at the 2021 Track & Field State Series

Since 2017, the Grayslake Central boys cross country and track team have been lucky enough to have help from volunteer Greg Lannoye, also known as Coach G. When he first arrived at GCHS, “He was just this random guy,” said former athlete Craig Hudley. Coach G specializes in, “helping some of the kids that maybe aren’t fitting in [and  good at] paying extra attention to the younger distance boys and…giving them a little extra support,” said head GCHS cross country coach, Jimmy Centella. It didn’t take very long for Coach G to impact Grayslake Central.Hudley said, “he’s probably impacted me the most out of any coach I’ve had [and] Coach G was the first person I called a second dad.” Despite his instinct to train athletes, Coach G has a rich life outside his strong dedication to Grayslake Central’s boys’ running.

In early adolescence, Coach G was always running to stay in shape for football or soccer. He grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, “so as a result, my dad made me go football,” said Coach G. In his junior year of high school, Coach G decided to fully commit to running and joined his high school cross country team. He took to running quickly, running a personal best mile with a time of 4:20 during his career. He then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1987 from the University of Wisconsin of Milwaukee. Coach G spent 22 years working at Abbot and then went on to teach chemistry at CLC for three years. He passed his love of running on to his children. Coach G’s youngest son, Drew Lannoye, started his training program, “Distance Driven Running and More” for young adult runners. Coach G said running has “always been a family thing” and that his son is “always trying to hit my time.” 

This active and competitive trait followed into his adult life and Coach G has had many successes, like biking through Europe in 1983 and hiking the Appalachian Trail, which is something not many accomplish. After completing something remarkable and already having a Ph.D., what was left to do? In 2017, “[Coach G] wrote a letter, an old school letter to the school,” said Centella. The letter expressed interest in volunteering and helping out with the track team.

The decision to become a volunteer coach came to Coach G during his six-month hike across the Appalachian Trail. “When I was out on the trail, I started thinking about what was I going to do after that. I’ve always wanted to do coaching and thought, ‘Well, maybe if I get back into running, I could also coach runners,” said Coach G. After he got back, Coach G would start looking for volunteer coaching opportunities. Coach G remembered stories from his children about lacking a good coach, and he wanted to be one to make a change. He knew what kids needed in a coach and knew he was fit for it. “I saw what happened to some of my kid’s friends. They weren’t getting what they needed to be successful. So the motivation wasn’t there. And I thought I could be a good motivator,” said Coach G. One thing that motivated him to come back every year was the bond he created with athletes. Hudley and Coach G had a bond that went further than the sport. “He talks to you about a lot of things outside of running and I think that that’s beneficial for younger runners to develop an understanding of life outside of running,” said Hudley. After a predicted 40th place finish at State, Hudley ended up earning 5th place and remembered that moment more specifically for Coach G’s reaction.  After the race, “I just remember he was the first person I wanted to hug,” said Hudley. Overall, Coach G’s goal is to leave a lasting impact on his athletes. “One goal I have is to impact one athlete a year.” Coach G explained that he wants to stick around at GCHS as long as he is still achieving this goal. Looking back on Coach G’s long list of accomplishments, he talked about how the Appalachian Trails impacted him personally and shaped him as a coach. After biking through Europe in 1983, “the biggest mistake I did was I didn’t keep a log” said Coach G. He decided he would not make this mistake a second time and wrote a manuscript during a hike through the Appalachian Mountains in 2016. This manuscript would help keep him mentally strong because he could look back at his progress each day and it would push him to keep going. Coach G even thought of publishing this manuscript. While looking back on the Appalachian Mountains, he said, “It’s sort of like running a marathon. Anybody can do it.” Coach G. While it may sound brutal to many, this experience strengthened the tough mental challenges athletes encounter. Coach G now has a unique understanding of the mental fight happening in his athletes and can lead them through it, unlike other coaches. Coach G admitted, “To finish the hike, it was it was it was a challenge mentally, I did hit a point where I almost quit, but ultimately I kept going”. 

With his experience as a coach and an athlete, Coach G figured out the key to staying driven. While the times and medals are nice, “you have to have a better way of looking at why you’re doing this.” said Coach G. True success will not come from medals, and any athlete will learn that as soon as they aren’t winning. It is important to find a deeper reason for what you are doing, and to him, “Team goals are more important” said Coach G. It is possible to achieve personal and team goals at the same time, and “Everyone’s sense of success is different. So my goal would be to try to get everyone to hit their personal goals” said Coach G.

 

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