John Bennin

John BenninImages courtesy of John BenninJust as Web Morrison was winding down his career as the head track coach at Pickford, the girls’ track program was just gaining steam. Initially Morrison coached the girls’ team after the passing of Title IX, but soon handed the reins to Sharon Beacom, who led the school to their first U.P. Class D title in 1976.

Then a former student and mentee of Web Morrison’s, John Bennin, took over the track and field program in 1979. John was a former basketball star at Lake Su­perior State College, and had never before coached track. Employing the same workout techniques and standards of Morrison, he built a program that would be recognized as the best in Class D throughout the U.P. From 1979 through 2002, his track teams won nine U.P. Class Titles and two Division 3 titles, includ­ing five in a row between 1984-1988, during which his team never lost a track meet in the U.P.

His efforts did not go unnoticed in the state of Michi­gan or nationally. In 1991, he was selected the Girls’ Track Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Coaches Association and in 1992 was selected as the 1992 Girls’ Track Coach of the Year for Region 4 (Midwest) by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

In addition to his work as a track coach, Bennin was the girls’ basketball coach at Pickford leading the squad to a regional championship in 1988. His record as a basketball coach was 138-88.

2002 Pickford girls track teamPickford Girls’ Track & Field Team, 2002 U.P. Class D Champions.
Ashley Bishop, 4th from the right in the back row, still holds the U.P. All-Class record in the shot put with a distance of 42’- 0.5”

1985 Pickford girls track teamPickford Girls’ Track & Field Team
1985 U.P. Class D Champions

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