First of all, Terri, Molly and Amy. I am so sorry for your loss. I feel I lost a family member from our wonderful running community.
So this would be about 40 years (as well as my two brothers, Mike and Gary and my mom and dad also knew Phil ) have known Phil. I grew up around Phil. I knew him as a friend, coach to me at one time, competing coach at the high schools that I coached at. This is a devastating loss to me and everyone that knew Phil.
The first time a met Phil was when I was about 14 years old. At that time, I believe he was still competing and going to school at Central Washington University. I was impressed as to how good he was as a runner. He noticed that I may have some talent as a runner and always talked to me and gave me advice along the way( He was one of the faster 10ks at the D-2 college level nationally. He is still ranked at one of the all-time fastest 10ks every at Central Washington).
As I grew going into Junior High at Shumway in Vancouver, I continued to get to know Phil much better. He ran for Clark College and worked out at the old Hudson's Bay cinder track. He continued to talk to me about how good he thought I could be as a runner and it sparked a fire that sent me into a very successful running career for a number of years.
When he moved back to the Vancouver area ( after teaching in Kalama) I would see him very regularly at the Hudson's Bay track where he would work out and study my running a little better. I picked up a lot of advice and information from him. He truly cared about my success.
I continued my running career into college. When I came home Phil would make a point to come up to me when I was home on breaks congratulating and encourage me to go beyond myself to enter the elite level of competition. It was always a boost for me.
After I got out of college I competed for the Nike Portland team. Phil was getting into coaching and saw the need to coach me and some other very elite cross country runners to go to the US championships in San Francisco. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from him as a future coach.
I was a coach at Hudson's Bay and Camas for cross country and track. My teams competed against Phil's team at Prairie High School. I continued to pick up some good tips from Phil about training high school runners.
After I got out of coaching, I would still see Phil coaching for Prairie and then simply watching the XC and Track Meets for fun. He also noticed the potential my son Sam had last year as he competed for middle school XC and track just like he did with Shane my older son.
I will truly miss Phil in so many ways; his great passion for the sports of Cross country and track, his willingness to always help out the running family (CCRC) for many years, the way he cared so deeply for the athletes he coached, and the love of his running family the Clark County running club.
Phil touched many lives in so many ways (hundreds for students/athletes) and others. His legacy will never be forgotten.