June 12, 2024

Putnam named new GCCC track coach

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-It’s always said that the people we meet in life build strong bonds for the future. One of those connections led Garden City Community College to their next track and cross country coach. 

In 2007, then Buster coach Dan Delgado recruited a kid from the New England area by the name of Mohamed Noor. He hailed from Lewiston High School, the same program run by Raymond Putnam. A friendship formed, and two years later, Delgado once again leaned on Putnam to recruit more athletes to Garden City. 

So it was no surprise that the bond built nearly eight years ago between two coaches more than 1,000 miles away proved prophetic as Garden City officially introduced Putnam as the school’s new track and cross country coach Wednesday afternoon inside the Hall of Fame room. 

“Why wouldn’t i choose Garden City would be the question,” Putnam said. “Our facilities are the best in Kansas, and with the new addition coming, we know we have the best. 

Putnam’s coaching stops include stints at Lewiston High School in in Maine, St. Joseph’s College and Salem International. But it wasn’t coaching that led Putnam to the track; it was something else. 

“I was a counselor for a long time,” Putnam said. “But a couple of the kids I was working with ending up shooting people and getting in trouble so I thought there would be a better way of helping young people.”

And he’s found his calling. But the transition won’t be easy as Putnam becomes the Busters third coach in less than 18 months with Matt High resigning back in December and Ryan Turner leaving after last season to take a job at Butler. 

And don’t be fooled; Putnam was a pretty good athlete himself at Division-III Southern Maine. He spent four years on the cross country team there. 

Listen to the entire press conference