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Clay Center’s Tyler Nelson – Coach of the Month Presented By Salina Regional Orthopedic Clinic

By Matt Browning

Tyler Nelson has been a fixture at Clay Center since 1985 when he became an assistant track coach. Just a year later, he was hired as the head cross country and track coach.

The rest is history.

“I start with the idea that each athlete must be respected,” Nelson said. “They come to our teams with a particular skill set and learned life experiences.”

No matter how much Nelson and his staff can grow an athlete, the intent is to always have athletes learn as much as possible about running and more importantly, life.

“Whether you win or lose there is something that can be gained from the process of attempting to be better today than you were tomorrow,” Nelson said. “Very few of our runners will go on to be professional runners but the commitment that it takes to be a good high school runner is a life skill that translates into almost every profession.”

Both of Nelson’s daughters ran for Clay Center and that is one of his most fond memories.

“I particularly enjoyed working with my two daughters and watching them grow, head to college and become successful young women,” Nelson said.

Clay Center was Nelson’s first job and most likely his last.

“Clay Center is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family,” Nelson said. “It is small enough to feel cozy yet large enough to provide lots of different opportunities. The people here are just decent and good.”    

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