Longtime Jinsei Gakuen H.S. head coach Chikara Onishi passed away suddenly in mid-April at age 56. While searching for a replacement who could coach the team with expertise the school consulted with alum Mitsuya, famed in athletics circles for his record of success as an athlete. Mitsuya expressed his interest. Yu Shimoyama, 42, who has served as interim head coach and general manager since Onishi's passing, will continue as team manager.
Mitsuya entered Jinsei Gakuen H.S. in April, 2000, leading the team to the National High School Ekiden all three years. After graduating he joined the Toyota Kyushu corporate team coached by Barcelona Olympics marathon silver medalist Koichi Morishita, winning the 2005 National Championships 10000 m at age 20. Three weeks later, paced by his training partner and future Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru he ran 27:41.10, at the time the fastest-ever time by a Japanese man on Japanese soil and still the fastest-ever by a Japanese 20-year-old. He ran the 10000 m at the Helsinki World Championships that year and the 5000 m at the Osaka World Championships in 2007.
Regarding his aspirations as head coach Mitsuya commented, "To start with I want to build the team up solidly into a group of athletes who can run. Our first challenge will be the National High School Ekiden prefectural qualifier in November." Regarding his methodology as coach Mitsuya said, "Using Coach Onishi's principles as a base I aim to develop athletes who can be successful whether they go to university or a corporate team."
source article: http://www.shikoku-np.co.jp/sports/local/20170902000166
translated and edited by Brett Larner