OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Jim Ivey lives his life by four simple words: do more with less.
And that’s exactly what the 68-year-old Owensboro Catholic coach has done.
Ivey has been the track and field coach for the Aces since 1990. He’s seen his fair share of success through 31 years of coaching, but it’s even more impressive when you consider this minor detail:
Owensboro Catholic doesn’t even have a track.
So where do they practice? Athletic director Jason Morris puts it best.
“Where do they not practice?”
The Aces will practice anywhere from a road in front of the school, to open areas on the soccer field. They even practice inside the hallways in the high school.
“We’re making sure the teachers have their doors shut because, if not, or they open it too quick, it’s bad news,” said former track and field assistant Scott Lowe.
Owensboro Catholic may not have the resources of other schools, but that hasn’t stopped Ivey from making the best of an unfortunate situation.
“I’ve always told the kids that we don’t want to look at what we don’t have,” Ivey remarked. “We want to take what we’ve got, and take it to the highest level that we can take it.”
The Aces have had no problem taking it to the highest level. The girls track team has won seven regional championships since Ivey took over, and the boys team has won two of their own.
“All of that comes from your leadership like Jim to make things better, be positive about it, because it’d be easy to be negative about it,” Morris said. “But he’s been positive about it, and he’s had a very successful program, and he’ll continue to be there as long as he’s our coach.”
“I’ve been in meetings since I’ve been here teaching, and they were telling us they’d have to cut the budget,” Ivey said. “I would always walk out and look to somebody to my right or left and say, ‘We’ll teach them. We’ll do more with less.’ But hey, if you have that attitude, you can make it happen.”
Despite all of the success, Ivey doesn’t take any credit. The Aces may not have the best facilities, but what they do have, is the power of positivity.
“I always tell them to stay positive, even in negative situations,” Ivey said. “You’re going to have a better chance of being successful being positive, staying positive. Bad things are going to happen, just have the mindset that you’re going to ward it off and control it, and not let it control you.”
(This story was originally published on April 12, 2021)