“METRO LEGENDS AWARD”
Jim Prahlow, a history, theology and math teacher, began his coaching career at Orlando Luther. His first stint: football coach responsible for F-troop. Players learned to count to four, and they also learned the difference between moving left and moving right.
Jim also coached one season of soccer, the highlight being a 0-0 tie in the rain to end a 0-10-1 season. His one memory of coaching one season of boys JV basketball was losing 106-13, in a 1-19 season. However, things did improve. While coaching girls basketball, his teams won two district titles.
Meanwhile, Jim remembers his first track athletes running down a McDonald’s parking lot to jump into a sand pit, its contents “borrowed” from a local construction site. Others threw discs and shots across a church parking lot, several tosses denting cars or shattering windows. Runners dodged cars and trucks as they ran intervals across an access lane.
His boys and girls track teams in Orlando and St. Louis went on to win seven state championships and finish in the Final Four 14 more times. During his tenure, Crusader squads won more than 30 league titles as Jim and his coaches mentored more than 200 all-state performers and set 28 track records.
Jim has also continued the tradition of the Paul Crisler-created Lutheran North Relays, completing the 48th annual event this past April on the Petersen Track and LaMothe Field.
In cross-country, Jim has coached two state runners-up and an additional 16 teams to top 10 finishes. Some 28 athletes have earned all-state honors, with one winning an individual title, one finishing runner-up and 10 others earning top-10 honors.
Jim, his athletes and assistant coaches, parents and school staff have hosted numerous elementary school track and field/cross country clinics and meets in both Florida and Missouri.
Jim’s first major award was the 1987 Orlando Track Officials Club Coach of the Year (COY). Since moving to Missouri, received additional coaching awards. He has represented his staff’s accomplishments as a six-time recipient of Missouri Class 2 Boys COY; Midwest Regional Boys Track COY (1997); and the 1997 NFHA National Boys Track COY.