Dobbin Bookman’s Tribute to James Blackburn

Photo courtesy of Dobbin Bookman

By Dobbin Bookman ’17

Jim Blackburn is and will always be one of the greatest men I have ever had the chance to meet. Anyone that had the opportunity to meet and experience Blackburn would tell you he was a man of action and a motivator. With just a couple words he could make you believe you could the conquer the world as long as you worked hard at it. It was those same words that generations of track and field athletes held onto and it was those words that allowed any individual to reach his true potential. Jim Blackburn was the type of man who was able to take kids who you would think had no business on a track and turn them into elite athletes. I was one of those athletes and there is not a single day I regret making the decision of dedicating myself to track and field. Jim Blackburn was not just a coach his role in our lives was far greater than that. Blackburn was a mentor, a friend, a leader, and for me personally a father figure. He was a legend in the eyes of his athletes and without him many of us wouldn’t be who we are today. Although Jim Blackburn is no longer here physically, the experiences and memories will never go away. Thank you coach Blackburn you made me and countless others into who we are today and we will be forever grateful to you.

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