Skip to main content

Seino to Step Down as Head Coach at Sendai Ikuei H.S. Following 12th-Place Finish

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2012/01/20120119t14025.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Jan. 18 Junichi Seino, 27, head coach of Sendai Ikuei High School's ekiden team, announced that he intends to resign from both his position as coach and as a member of the school's teaching staff following the completion of the academic year at the end of March.

At the Dec. 25 National High School Ekiden Championships in Kyoto, Sendai Ikuei H.S. was one of the favorites for the win but finished only 12th.  According to a source connected with the situation, following the race Seino took full personal responsibility for the team's poor performance. The school proposed a plan under which previous head coach Takao Watanabe, under whose leadership Sendai Ikuei won six national titles including the still-standing course record with ace Samuel Wanjiru, would return to take over with Seino remaining to work in tandem with him.  Seino flatly rejected the proposal.  Parents of the team's current members protested the school's plan and strongly asked him to remain in his current capacity, but Seino replied with his resignation.  "What they've suggested is unbelievable and disrespectful to the others involved.  I cannot accept it," Seino said.

Seino is a local, a native of nearby Zao, Miyagi.  As a sophomore at Sendai Ikuei H.S. he was a member of its National High School Ekiden champion team as well as one of the ten men on Juntendo University's Hakone Ekiden winning team as a senior there.  Following his graduation from Juntendo in 2007 he returned to Sendai Ikuei to become assistant coach under Watanabe.  He became head coach a year later in April, 2008 when Watanabe resigned to become the personal coach of Sendai Ikuei graduate and women's junior 10000 m national record holder Megumi Kinukawa.  In Seino's first year as head coach Sendai Ikuei's boys team finished 2nd at the National High School Ekiden Championships.

Following his departure Seino intends to continue his coaching career at a different high school.  Sendai Ikuei's team has roughly thirty members.  If any of the students express the wish to follow Seino and change high schools with him the school administration will respect their decision.  With regard to the situation having come to the point of Seino leaving the school, Sendai Ikuei H.S. principal Takehiko Kato declined to be interviewed by the Kahoku Newspaper, saying that he is too busy with overseeing construction of the school's new Miyagino campus and other responsibilities.

Comments

Bruce said…
This really points out how high school sports (at least track and field) in Japan operate much like collegiate sports in the USA. Would be interesting to know whether other countries have such pressure on high school coaches to do well and whether they allow athletes to freely move to another school to follow their coach.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…