July 2nd, 2015

Hyland's Heroes: Johnnie Baum

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Johnnie Baum
The Baum family / photo provided by the family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Johnnie Baum is a member at St. Raphael and is their track and field coach. He and his wife have three kids, Jack (soon to be freshman at Trinity), Sam (11 years old), and Mary Kate (8 years old).

Jack is a runner and will participate on the cross country and track and field teams at Trinity. Sam plays football, basketball, and soccer for St. Raphael. Mary Kate plays a number of sports at St. Raphael but Johnnie thinks basketball is her favorite.

When the family isn’t busy with sports, they enjoy the outdoors going canoeing, fishing, swimming, and the lake.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I ran cross country and track at Holy Cross High School and was lucky enough to earn an athletic scholarship to Indiana University.  I have always thought coaching cross country and track would be fun and a good way to give back and teach.  I began coaching when my son Jack was in 3rd grade.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

I wanted to be involved with the parish and my children's experiences at St. Raphael.  This was the best way for me to do so and was an easy decision.

What sports are you involved in and for how long?

I've been coaching track and cross country for six years at St. Raphael.

What's the connection with your faith (stewardship) and giving your time to young student athletes?

It's really important that our children be around adults who care about their spiritual, emotional and physical development.   

That can involve learning how to overcome obstacles and working hard to reach goals.  That's the connection for me.  As a coach, I am a direct influence on many young lives and I take that responsibility seriously.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer role? Why?

Richard Reynolds, my high school coach at Holy Cross. He still coaches to this day and is a great coach and even better man.  I think that experience and growth opportunity influenced me the most.

What are your major themes/principles as a volunteer?

My major theme as a coach is to convey the importance of the mind or the mindset of the individual.   Within the mind is where true champions are forged, where success or failure begins.  To understand this is important in all facets of life.

What does your athletic role at the school bring to you, your family?

This role helps keep me connected with my family.  When I'm not coaching, Julie and I enjoy watching our children participate in their other sports. They really do grow up fast and I often remind myself that every minute is precious.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have as a volunteer?

My favorite experience is watching a child do something they weren't sure that they were able to do whether it is finishing a race or completing a difficult workout and watching them get better each year and growing into a young adult.



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