|Year:||Class of 2012|
|Sport:||Football & Golf|
After more than 50 years of coaching, teaching and overseeing athletic programs, Coach Pete Limm, 81, remains focused on helping athletes reach their potential.
“When you go into coaching you try to win every game, but the main thing is you do a good job with the kids and try to make them move on to next level,” Limm said. “That’s the main thing. That’s our job.”
Limm coached football at San Rafael High School and math at Santa Benicia before becoming one of the first instructors at Terra Linda High School in 1960 where he coached football until he was hired on at College of Marin in 1965.
Despite the unsettled times of the 60s, students were more insulated and there was a strong sense of community, Limm said. “Youngsters got to know each other fairly well. The football team was strong and there was “a great coaching staff.”
At College of Marin, Limm coached football and many other sports and taught PE, He eventually retired as athletic director in 1993. He has continued teaching part-time at the college and is currently a golf instructor.
“You get an assignment and then you get along and coach,” he said. “It may be a line coach or field sports or running events.” What’s important, Limm said, “is to make sure these kids have every opportunity they can to go on and you do as good as you can to make sure they have the opportunity to do that. You teach the kids who are good and the kids who are not so good. You teach them everything you know so they can do well.”
Joining the College of Marin Athletic Hall of Famers has special meaning for him.
“I feel so proud right now to be nominated along with these other people,” he said, noting the rich histories of his colleagues and exceptional players who he joins in the Hall of Fame. “It took lot of coaches and teachers to get to this point. You don’t do it by yourself. I feel bad I can’t mention all the rest of the kids that have gone on to do well. They’re all important.”
Joe Morello, dean of Physical Education/Kinesiology Division at Skyline College, was a student in the early 80s when Limm was a coach and later returned to the college to work as an assistant baseball coach from 1988-93 when Limm was athletic director. After Limm retired his position as athletic director, Morello took the mantel in 1994 and counted heavily on Limm’s mentorship in the early days.
“Pete was in there almost every single day,” Morello said. “Pete wouldn’t give me the answers. He wanted me to figure out things on my own. He would say, ‘You need to talk to this person and that person.’ He was someone I could vent to. He was an authority figure when I was a student there. When I was a coach there, our relationship changed over time to genuine friendship. Now I respect him for what he accomplished and what he was able to do and his knowledge that was so helpful. It was really him who opened the door for me.”
“There were times I would get down and ask, ‘Am I on the right path?’ Pete would say, ‘You can do this.’ He just had a way of shaking you up so you knew you could get it done. That’s ultimately what a great coach does. So many times people get caught up in, ‘This is what you can’t do.’ He wouldn’t waste time on that.”
Limm was a linear thinker who helped people figure out how to connect the dots, Morello said. “He did that for me in my career and he did that for the kids who played for him. Pete let you figure out what you could do and pushed you to do the best you could do. I wouldn’t be where I am at without Pete Limm.”
As a coach, Limm was able to point out players’ strengths and help them focus on where they excelled. “He knew what he wanted to accomplish, what the end looked like and what steps we needed to take in order to get there. He could’ve coached anything.”