Go on a journey with Bill Squires in Born to Coach. From tasting his own blood while running hard as a Notre Dame miler to producing the top US marathon legends in the epicenter of the running boom of the 1970s and into the 80s, Bill Squires not only survived being born with a misdiagnosed and potentially fatal defective heart, but the late-developing skinny kid also amassed numerous track records as a collegiate All-American while struggling academically.
As the first coach of the groundbreaking Greater Boston Track Club, Bill Squires was the key figure in the creation of the greatest generation of American distance runners. Coaching for years at all levels, it is with this vast accumulation of firsthand knowledge and experience that legendary Olympians and major marathon champions such as Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Greg Meyer, Dick Beardsley, wheelchair champ Bob Hall, and more, individually and with GBTC dominated the landscape and set the pace for future generations via Bills innovative race simulators and group-training techniques that are still used today. Proof of his determination and perseverance appeared early as he survived the physical and emotional childhood trauma and effects of a misdiagnosis that stunted his emotional and physical growth. He continually pushed himself through personal pain in competition and maturation; found his eventual athletic calling as a record-setting runner; and became the highly sought-after benevolent ambassador of running as a coach.
He is proof that one should never give up.
Coach Bill Squires turned a bunch of wacky, individualistic Boston runners into marathon elites in part because he shared the same traits hes wacky and individualistic. And very, very smart about training for road-race success. I only got to train with Squires and the Greater Boston Track Club a couple of times in my career, but those workouts were among the hardest and most fun I ever did. Ill never forget those runs. Ambrose “Amby” Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon winner, Runners World editor-at-large, author
Coach Billy Squires, as we affectionately called him, is a remarkable human being as well as a brilliant coach. He is always generous with his time and weve had many conversations over the years. I know him as a very thoughtful and articulate man with a sense of humor. Not only did he train Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, Bill Rodgers, and Greg Meyer, to name a few, but he takes time to chat with many of us in the running community. I remember him at the Boston Marathon year after year and wed sit and talk about the old days and the new days. I never had a coach, but if I had, I would have wanted it to be Coach Squires. He often said he wished hed known me 40 or 50 years ago, and Id smile. I always look forward to our chats and wish there had been more of them. Hes a great coach and a wonderful person. I have a huge amount of respect and affection for him. Roberta Bobbi Gibb, three-time winner of the Boston Marathon (1966-68) and the first woman to finish the race
About the Author
Paul C. Clerici, author of Images of Modern America: The Boston Marathon, A History of the Falmouth Road Race: Running Cape Cod, Boston Marathon History by the Mile (and the Chinese-language version Journey of the Boston Marathon), and History of the Greater Boston Track Club, has covered running and the Boston Marathon since 1988. A journalist, photographer, and former newspaper editor and sports editor, he has been recognized by the Marquis Whos Who publication with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. A lecturer and historian often invited as a guest on television and radio programs, the New England Press Association and Massachusetts Press Association award-winner and Camy 5K Run & David 5K Walk race director competes in nearly every distance from the mile to the marathon, including two triathlons, 43 marathons (the Boston Marathon 23 times), and has won numerous age-group and Clydesdale awards. A graduate of Curry College in Milton, MA, the Walpole High School Hall of Fame member resides in Massachusetts.