Coach Paul Hines Passes the Baton After 43 Years at the School

Coach Paul Hines Passes the Baton After 43 Years at the School

On the track bearing his name, legendary track and cross country coach Paul Hines H’03 pulled the trigger on the starting gun and stated authoritatively, “Let the games begin” one final time. 

This week Hines was recognized for an outstanding four-decades-long career at the school. Friends from the coaching world, family, former athletes, friends, and colleagues were on deck to salute Hines and witness this poignant moment at Hines Track, named for him in 2019. 

Jim Talbot, the former athletic director responsible for hiring Hines 43 years ago and a current member of the school’s development team, noted Hines’ dedication and commitment to the sport and the school. 

“Three seasons every year, in addition to a full teaching load as a Middle School history teacher, I'm not sure that record will ever be equaled, again.” He went on to say, “That means for cross country in the fall, you’re in Fairmount Park in the dark when it’s about 25 degrees, or in the winter for indoor track, you’re driving your team to Lehigh or the Armory in New York City for meets at 6 AM on a Saturday. Or if you're the track and field coach in the spring, you're taking your charges down to NC because they have been good enough, under his tutelage, to qualify for national championships.”

After Hines completed an astonishing 51 marathons in June of 2021, colleague and fellow coach Polly Kimberly encapsulated Hines’ accomplishments: “As you might expect of an elite long-distance runner, Hines possesses superior mental strength and stamina. He has, of course, deployed these superpowers as a Middle School teacher and coach over his long career as an educator, and he has been honored many times by SCH Academy, as well as the larger Philadelphia athletic community for his accomplishments as a teacher, coach, and runner.”

Hines, who spent five years at Cardinal Dougherty before joining Chestnut Hill Academy, is an honorary alumnus of the Chestnut Hill Academy Class of 2003; was inducted into the City All-Star Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2017; and was presented with The Alumnus of the Year award in June 2021, which recognizes an alumnus for outstanding service to the Alumni Association or Springside Chestnut Hill Academy where he continues to work in the Development Office, where he wrote a book about the history of the Wissahickon Inn, and where he is credited with coaching six SCH all-American high school athletes. Most recently, he was honored with the Association Award from the Track & Field Coaches Association (T&FCA) of Greater Philadelphia for his "contributions to the advancement of track & field" and his years of service to the T&FCA.

“People ask me, how do you do 48 years of coaching track and cross country?” said Hines after passing the baton to SCH's new head coach, Salvatore Scarafone. The two coaches shared a hug on the track in mutual respect, acknowledging the track program's past, present, and future. After a shout-out for the support of his wife and son, Hines gave three reasons for such a long coaching career: the good fortune to coach good kids—willing to work hard and have good sportsmanship—supportive parents who do what it takes for their athletes, and, finally, his assistant coaches, many of whom were present at the tribute.

Coach Hines, we will miss you on Hines Track but know you won’t be far away. Thank you for your outstanding contribution to the school’s athletic program.

More photos are here and a video from the tribute is below.

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