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Nipmuc Track Coach Richard Auger was named the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Central Mass Outdoor Track Coach of the Year for 2015.

Nipmuc Regional High School boys track coach Richard Auger started running on a dare from his kids. More than two decades later, the former marathoner has built a successful track and field program that this year will land him the honor of being named the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Central Mass Outdoor Track Coach of the Year for 2015.
"This was quite a huge surprise and totally unexpected," Auger said. "You have to be nominated for that. I have no idea who would nominate me for that award, but I am thankful. We certainly had a great year."
Auger will be recognized at the 10th annual MSTCA Awards Banquet at Lantana's in Randolph on June 5.
Nipmuc's 2015 outdoor season included a league title, a win in the decathlon at the New England meet, and a New England title in the triple jump for Kurt Robakiewicz. Kevin Hack finished second in the region in the high jump and took home titles in the state and state-qualifying meet in that event. The pair combined with Brandon Esker to claim the team decathlon crown.
Auger's love of the sport extends well beyond last spring.
"It all started with my kids challenging me," he said. "I had two boys on the cross country team and they said 'come on dad, start running with us.' So I started running post-to-post, walk, run, walk, run.
"By the time I finished they stopped running with me because I was beating them," Auger added, laughing.
Auger ran five official marathons in his career. His first, in Newport, was a learning experience. 
"I went out running seven-minute miles," he said. "By the time I hit the midway point, I was saying, 'you are cooked, you have nothing left right now because you went out too fast.'"
So he became a student of the sport. He started reading books by famed marathoner and four-time Boston champion Bill Rodgers, and started to train correctly. Despite being in his 50s, Auger ran a 3:20 in the Vermont City Marathon and qualified for Boston. He ran the nation's oldest marathon three times, his last being the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996.
Auger turned his attention to the track program. He restarted the Nipmuc outdoor program in 1994 along with another teacher at the school and introduced the winter track program in 2003.
"Having only known Coach Auger for a short period of time, he is devoted to his student-athletes and the sport of running," said Nipmuc Athletic Director Christopher Schmidt. "Coach has a genuine love for running and helping to develop future runners."
Auger said he couldn't remember over the years having a single track competitors, who was not a good athlete. He has never stopped studying the sport, and said he watches videos, learns from other coaches, and from his own athletes to try to get the best out of his teams.
"I learned track the hard way," he said. "I had never done this, so everything I had to know about track I learned through my own experiences."
After two decades at the helm, Auger is pretty happy with the way things have turned out and looks forward to coaching every day.
"It's been a great life experience for me, it's just so easy for me to do," Auger said. "The kids make it what it is. They make this job very easy."




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