KINGSPORT — They are legends and Hall of Famers.
And now, former Dobyns-Bennett track and field coaches Dan Crowe and Tom Coughenour are immortalized above the track they loved so much.
On Friday at 7 p.m., the official dedication ceremony for the mural honoring Crowe and Coughenour will take place at D-B. The facility has been renamed the Crowe-Coughenour Track.
On the wall at the east end of the track, a mural has portraits of both coaches as well as lists of all the state championships and runner-up finishes in track and cross country earned by D-B.
“Actually, we’re calling the day a ‘formal informal dedication,’” said current D-B track and cross country coach Bob Bingham. “The plan is to have family, friends, ex-runners and anybody who was influenced by these legends to come and mingle.”
The project has come together in a relatively short span.
“After Tom died I just thought we had to do something to honor both of these great coaches,” Bingham said. “The first thing we did was change the name of the Dan Crowe Relays to the TC-DC Relays. But I knew there was still more to be done.”
Seeing the large empty space on the wall above the track, Bingham got the idea for having a mural depicting what Crowe and Coughenour had accomplished.
“People had always told me how Dan and Tom had influenced the lives of so many kids both on and off the track,” added Bingham. “There was just so much respect for the two of them that something special had to be done.”
Once Bingham floated the idea to the administration at D-B the ball got rolling.
“I can’t say enough about how well the idea was received,” Bingham said. “Both the school board and the city of Kingsport have been on board for the start and have moved the project along in a hurry.”
The mural was painted by Kathy Blair and has a powerful presence over the track.
“These are two of the most respected coaches in the state,” Bingham added. “What has been done at the D-B track to honor them will be something iconic for the city of Kingsport.”
On Friday, there will be tables and chairs set up at the D-B track for people to bring food and have a picnic.
“We want everyone to come and see the mural and to reminisce about Coach Crowe and Coach Coughenour,” Bingham said.