Coach Dyke, the man behind Edwin Allen’s success

February 20, 2020
Michael Dyke
Michael Dyke
Edwin Allen’s head coach Michael Dyke
Edwin Allen’s head coach Michael Dyke

Edwin Allen High have won the ISSA/GraceKennedy Girls' Athletics title since 2014. That's six titles in a row and this year they will be seeking a seventh. The institution, which is doing extremely well currently, doesn't have a long history of dominating girls' track and field at the secondary level. They won Girls' Champs for the first time in 2012. Beyond the talent of many athletes, there is one man behind this success - Michael Dyke, the head coach.

Dyke, who is a past student of the Clarendon-based school, got his post secondary education at the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport. He was a middle-distance runner (800m and 1500m) before he became a coach.

When he started working at Edwin Allen more than 20 years ago, there was no track and field programme and football was the main sport.

Interest in track and field was almost nonexistent, especially among the girls he said. "They had the feeling that they would get 'tough' so they didn't want to be involved, Dyke explained.

Michael Dyke had to convince them that they could benefit from sports and things started changing in the 1990s when Edwin Allen first got among the top 10 at Champs and then took part in the Penn Relays.

The head coach told STAR Sports that he really appreciates where they have reached now. "It is remarkable because we don't get the level of support that they have in Kingston, in terms of sponsorship. But we're still able to beat everybody!"

Todd Stanley, one of the assistant coaches, believes Dyke has a big hand in this success. "Dyke pays attention to details. I call him a tactician. What I also like about him is that he builds his athletes," Stanley told STAR Sports. "We don't necessarily get the best primary school athletes, but at the end of high school, they are the best."

According to Class One sprinter Kevona Davis, communication is a good point as well with him. "When I think that something is not going to work, I can tell him and we discuss it. We have a very strong relationship because I have known him since Grade Seven and he has been my only coach," the 18-year-old mentioned.

For the promising Clayton twins, coach Dyke is what makes their high school unique. "He is a different coach from everybody else," Tina Clayton stated.

"We are a lot of girls and he treats all of us the same way, regardless of our level. People classify Tia, Kevona and I as stars but our coach treats us all the same." Some stars from the Clarendon-based school have became professionals they include 400m hurdler Ristananna Tracey, sprinter Christania Williams, shot putter Danniel Thomas-Dodd and high jumper Kimberly Williamson. - Melena Helias

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