Book on ‘enduring’ legends will feature longtime North coach

Throughout the past decade, former high school cross-country coaches Derek and Gwen Leininger began noticing a high number of longtime successful coaches were retiring from the sport.

So last year, the Leiningers began a project that would attempt to capture the collective wisdom of those coaches and pass it on to the next generation. They’re collaborating on a book, “Enduring Wisdom,” which will be released May 26.

The Leiningers interviewed 19 state championship coaches from around the state. Those coaches have a combined 56 cross-country team state titles, 38 state runner-up finishes and 18 individual state champions.

One of the coaches they interviewed is retiring Columbus North cross-country head coach and assistant track coach Rick Weinheimer. Weinheimer coached the boys cross-country team for 38 years and the girls for 35 years and led the Bull Dogs to five boys and one girls state championship.

The book explores the individual personality and leadership style of each coach, how they build and sustain a winning culture, the role of mentors in their own development and how successes and failures have shaped them as people and coaches. It also explores various aspects of training distance runners.

Derek Leininger ran at Columbia City High School and earned All-State honors with a ninth-place finish in the 800 meters in 2002. His wife was an All-State runner at Rushville in 2002 and went on to earn Division III All-American honors in both cross-country and track at Anderson University.

Both Leiningers coached cross-country and track for several years at Fort Wayne Snider.

Beginning May 26, “Enduring Wisdom” will be available for purchase through The authors will conduct a book signing/authors’ and coaches’ Q&A panel event from 3 to 5 p.m. June 17 at the Athletic Annex Running Center, 1411 W. 86th St., Indianapolis.

Bull Dogs to play for title

Monday’s scheduled girls tennis match between 12th-ranked Columbus North and No. 9 Terre Haute South will serve as the Conference Indiana championship.The Bull Dogs and Braves both won semifinal matches Saturday at the Indiana University Tennis Center. They will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Bloomington North for the title.

Columbus North’s baseball and softball teams will play for fifth through eighth place in the conference on Saturday. The baseball will be at Franklin Central, and the softball will be at Miss America America Fields in Terre Haute.

Goalie signs with Ancilla

Columbus North goalie Anthony Valencia has signed to play lacrosse at Ancilla College.Valencia did his signing on Tuesday at Hamilton Center Ice Arena. Ancilla coach Brian Welch attended the ceremony.

North to host callouts

The Columbus North girls soccer callout meeting will be from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. today in the school’s cafeteria.North will have a callout meeting for incoming freshmen and returning high school students who are interested in running cross-country this fall and their parents at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the LGI room of the school. Athletes will be given the summer training schedule and will be able to meet new boys and girls coaches Danny Fisher and Bethany Scruton.

Also, incoming freshmen interested in trying out for the North girls golf team this fall need to contact coach Scott Seavers at or 812-371-2348 for more information.

Cougars conducting fundraiser

The South Decatur athletics department will host Drive 4 Ur School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the school’s parking lot.For every test drive of a new Ford vehicle, Don Meyer Ford and Ford Motor Company will donate $20 to South Decatur High School. Refreshments and entertainment will be provided.

The event is limited to one eligible driver per household. Drivers must be 18 years old and have a valid drivers license.

For more information, call South Decatur athletics director Willard Rice at 812-591-3330.

Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5628.