Honorary Referees Announced for the Kansas Relays

April 6, 2005


On Wednesday, April 6, Kansas Relays Meet Director Tim Weaver announced the Honorary Meet Referees for the 2005 Kansas Relays. The men’s honorary referee will be Dave Harris, Head Track and Field Coach at Emporia State University. The head women’s coach at Cloud County Community College, Ted Schmitz, will serve as honorary referee of the women’s division. For the boy’s, Rich Ludwig of Gardner Edgerton High School will be the honorary referee, while John Lewis from Topeka West will serve as the girl’s referee.

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“We are honored to have these four gentlemen associated with the 78th Kansas Relays,” said Weaver. “There is a long tradition of sports legends serving as Kansas Relays referees. Knute Rockne, Bill Easton, Glenn Cunningham, DeLoss Dodds, Steve Miller, and Al Oerter all were Kansas Relays referees. Dave, Ted, Rich, and John are all certainly worthy of inclusion on that list. This honorary title is meant to recognize and thank these four coaches for their contributions to the sport and to the thousands of athletes they have helped, on and off the track.”

Honorary Referee Bios:

Dave Harris is in his 13th season as the head coach of the track and field and cross-country programs at Emporia State. He is an 11-time MIAA Coach of the Year. Harris was named the 2000 South Central Regional Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year after leading his freshmen-laden team to a fifth place showing at the MIAA Championships and a sixth place finish at the Regional Meet. Under his guidance, the Hornets have established themselves as a nationally prominent NCAA Division II power in both track and cross country as 133 times his athletes have earned All-American honors, including 13 NCAA Division II individual championships since 1995. Harris was also named the 2001 NCAA Division II Women’s Outdoor Track Coach of the Year by the United States Track Coaches Association. Harris came to ESU in 1992 from the University of Nebraska, where he coached middle distance runners and men’s sprinters and hurdlers. In his seven-year stint as an assistant coach for the Cornhuskers, Harris coached 31 All-Americans and three Olympians.

Ted Schmitz has been the head women’s track and field coach at Cloud County Community College since 1983. His teams have enjoyed great success, placing third at the NJCAA Championships twice (indoors in 2004 and 2005) and fourth on three occasions (indoors in 2003 and outdoors in 2003 and 2004). Schmitz has coached an impressive 131 athletes to All-American status on the track and in the field. His athletes have earned 84 Academic All-American Awards. Schmitz is no stranger to recognition himself, having been named the NJCAA Coach of the Year in 2003 for the indoor season and in 1999 for the outdoor campaign. He was also honored as the Region VI Coach of the year twice for the indoors (1995 and 1997) and twice outdoors (1994 and 1996).

Ludwig began his coaching career in 1972 at Macksville High School where his teams won two conference championships. He worked as an assistant coach at Gardner Edgerton for two years and coached Jeff and George Buckingham, who later became world-class pole vaulters. In 1981 Rich took over as head coach of the Trailblazer track team. Since then his athletes have re-written the school record book by setting new event standards in 16 of 18 events. Since 2000 the Blazers have produced seven regional or conference championships, four regional or conference runner-up titles, 31 individual conference champions, 71 individual conference medalists, 97 state qualifiers, 33 state medalists, and five individual State Champions. Rich has also had five individual Kandas Relays champions during his tenure at Gardner Edgerton.

Lewis attended his first Kansas Relay in the early 60’s and competed in the Relays while a student at Topeka High School. He held the school’s triple jump and 300 hurdles records before going on to play basketball at Seminole Junior College in Seminole, Okla. He began coaching at Boswell Junior High in 1978 and later at Robinson Middle School and Topeka West. Lewis became Head girls coach at Topeka West in 1990, the year his team placed 2nd at the state meet. He has had several teams win the regional championship and place in the top five at state.

The 78th Kansas Relays will run from April 21 – 23; the GOLD ZONE is Saturday, April 23 from 2 – 5 pm. The GOLD ZONE will feature Olympic Champions Maurice Greene, Marion Jones, Stacy Dragila, Allen Johnson, and Inger Miller. For more information on the Kansas Relays, a complete GOLD ZONE schedule, and ticket information, visit http://kuathletics.collegesports.com/sports/c-relay/