Longtime Gopher Athletics Employee Celebrates 50 Years
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Ninety-year-old Roy Griak served as head coach of the Minnesota men’s cross country and track and field for 33 years, from 1963-1996.
Under his leadership, the team won three NCAA championships, produced 47 cross country All Americans, and 60 Big Ten champions.
He says he’s kept at it for this long, because he never saw his job as a chore, even though he often worked every day of the week.
One’s busy “when you’re working with 50 or 60 athletes, in all different events, and there are different teaching skills for each event,” Griak said.
A lot has changed over the years, he said, with more interruptions.
“With all the electronics,” Griak said, “iPods, computers are a big enemy.”
He still works out every day, and he says hanging around young people keeps him young.
Griak will be honored in a pair of events next week. The Roy Griak 50 Year Celebration is on Thursday, Sept. 26, and the 28th Annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday Sept. 28.