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Laue to experience big change in climate

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PVHS cross country coach moving on to Texas

By Steve Smith

Brock Laue is heading from a climate known for a certain amount of cold and snow to one that features a certain amount of tarantulas and the chance of keeping youngsters in school when the temperature is 50 degrees.

Laue, who was the Prairie View High School cross country coach last year, stepped down to pursue a teaching and coaching job in Odessa, Texas. He was due to arrive in Texas Aug. 6, just in time to start his new assignment Wednesday, Aug. 7. And he will be busy.

"I'm going to become a middle-school P.E. teacher, and I'll also be coaching volleyball, girls basketball and track," he said. "I've been discussing an opportunity to have a minor role at Odessa Community College as a cross country/track assistant." 

Most of the college job is in recruiting, though he could be an assistant coach, too.

"I'm not going to take on too much right away," Laue said. "I'm able to handle all those duties at the moment. I think I will take on that role. I enjoy coaching cross country and track so much. Part of me does want to stay involved in those sports. I've had a long-term goal of coaching college cross country and track somewhere. The coach at the community college will be moving to her family's farm in a couple of years."

Laue wanted to be a full-time sportswriter, either at a magazine or a newspaper. But his high-school coach, Paul Quere, asked Laue to join part of the Indians' coaching staff because of Laue's love of distance running.

"I didn't join until a week into the season. It ended up being one of the best experiences of my life," Laue said. "I'm open minded to coaching any sport. The No. 1 thing is being able to work with young student-athletes in any role. Whether it's volleyball, which I have less experience in, or basketball, which I have a little experience (he coached one season of girls basketball at Loveland High School), I enjoy trying to make an impact on many lives. They make a bigger impact on my life."

Laue offered a couple of examples from his time at Prairie View.

"I worked with a more diverse student body than the one I worked with at Loveland," he said. "I really got a feel for a wider variety of students and grew to understand students who are first-generation Americans, what they are experiencing. I really enjoyed that. I grew to understand more about Mexican-American culture. I really enjoyed that opportunity. I grew to appreciate and value some aspects of Mexican-American culture that are great for communities."

Laue qualified for the national cross country meet while he was a student at Luther College. He played soccer and basketball before getting into high school.

"I started getting into cross country in sixth grade," Laue said. "Most runners think it's so challenging in the beginning and it's not necessarily the most fun. They enjoy the rush of endorphins. It's more simple than some sports. It's up to you about how much you put into it. I enjoy being able to run and enjoy the peacefulness of it."

Laue has a masters in secondary education. He was a sub in the 27J School District.

"It was an eye-opening experience, working with many students who were disenfranchised," he said. "My heart was even more into it, working with students like that. Sometimes, you can make a bigger impact in those schools when those students need role models."

Laue's only regret is the timing of his departure from the T-Hawks program. Practice starts Monday, Aug. 12.

"I'm going to miss the relationships," he said. "I've become pretty close to many of them. I've enjoyed getting to know something about their families. Some of the siblings of the student-athletes I've coached are the first in their families to attend college in this country. That's an inspiring thing to me. I'm going to miss the relationships with the coaches. It was a great experience here. It prepared me for the job in Odessa."