by Guest Blogger, Hal Lifson
Beverly Hills High School is experiencing a “Running Renaissance” thanks to Head Track Coach Jeffrey Fisher.
Last Thursday night my family and I attended the Annual Track and Field Awards Banquet in the cafeteria at Beverly Hills High School. My wife and I don’t have a kid on the team. Our daughters are only 5 and 7 years old. We attended because we are fans of the Track team and their incredible coach, Mr. Jeffrey Fisher.
For the past four years, Fisher has been Head Coach and in that time, the winning team has had several members qualify and win medals at CIF Finals and State Championships. Impressive for any coach, or any sport. Fisher believes in his students’ ability to succeed. Several of them (Sydney Gray, Brianna Simmons, Alex Rohani) have won Athletic Scholarships to college.
I clock about a 1000 miles a year on the BHHS track on my daily runs and have witnessed Coach Fisher’s inspirational guidance as he pushes his team through grueling workouts. His students seek “inner excellence” and are deeply dedicated to him. They constantly look to this quiet, humble man for approval. I admit, Coach Fisher motivates me, too. He’s a fixture in Lane One. I jokingly tell him “I am training to make the team one day!”
Fisher attended college at LSU, and was a highly talented 800-meter runner. He could have been one of the greats at that distance. His own lightning fast laps around the track these days show the powerful runner that he still is, at age 31. His passion for running is evident in his commitment to his work.
But Fisher teaches these kids more than running. He teaches them self-discipline and to be a good person, not just an athlete. “The proof is in the pudding,” Fisher says, meaning that results are what count. Results won of hard training, dedication to craft, and having self-respect.
“I try to teach lifetime skills. These kids can run many more years than I coach them. If I can be the reason they take better care of themselves in their lives then I am doing my job. It’s not just about winning races.”
As a publicist, I have told Fisher I would be happy to promote him on the media circuit. Fisher is not looking for the spotlight and often gives more credit to his assistant coaches than he tries to grab for himself. He is a selfless yet powerful leader with quiet dignity. Fisher is the Sidney Poitier of Track Coaches and his work with the teams at Beverly High, which were somewhat unfocused in the Pre-Fisher years, has resulted in a highly respected running program.
People are talking about the Normans Track and Cross Country teams. With star runners in the last couple years such as the amazing Sydney Segal and Alex Rohani, both State Champions and both nationally recognized, these Beverly Hills runners are at the top of their game. At the emotional Banquet Thursday night, many spoke about the positive impact that Coach Fisher has had on their lives. The Great Alex Rohani could barely speak he was so moved and said that he “owes everything to Coach Fisher.”
This was Jeffrey Fisher’s own version of “To Sir, With Love.” Fisher is now the undisputed “King” of Track Coaches at Beverly Hills High School and we, as a community are very fortunate to have him as such a positive role model for our children. My kids have a ways to go before entering Beverly Hills High, but they both run laps around the track. Fisher’s influence runs deep.
Team web master of BHHSTRACK.COM and Historian Simon Langer said, “Fisher has really gotten the running programs at Beverly High to a competitive level. People are talking about the runners from Beverly Hills now.”
That’s not what motivates Jeffrey Fisher, who can often be seen at early dawn at the track preparing for practice and working out the team before the sun comes up. But that’s the way it is with Royalty. They do things a little differently than ordinary people.
Read more on Coach Jeffrey Fisher at The Beverly Hills Courier