By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Ann Arbor Pioneer this week mourned longtime girls track & field and cross country coach Bryan Westfield, who died Sunday at the age of 72 and led Pioneers teams to a combined 19 MHSAA team championships over a career spanning more than three decades.
The Pioneers won their first girls track & field title under Westfield in 1985, edging Detroit Cass Tech 56-50 in Lower Peninsula Class A at Flint’s Houston Stadium. Pioneer went on to win the next six LP Class A titles, then strung together four more straight wins from 1996-99. His track & field teams won five more titles during the first decade of the 2000s, most recently in 2008, and the program holds the record for Lower Peninsula Finals championships with 16, six more than Detroit Renaissance.
Westfield’s girls cross country teams won back-to-back LP Class A titles in 1987 and 1988, and then won again in 1997.
Westfield graduated from Ann Arbor High School – the predecessor to Pioneer – in 1960 having lettered in football and track & field. He competed in both at Cornell University and eventually returned to Pioneer as a teacher. He also had a brief stint with the New York Giants’ developmental squad and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1964.
He began coaching Pioneer’s girls track & field and cross country teams in 1978 and coached both during the 2014-15 school year. He was inducted into the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014, among a number of accolades earned over the years.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. The school’s track was dedicated in 2012 to Westfield and former boys track & field coach Don Sleeman.
PHOTO: Coach Bryan Westfield stands with his 1990 team after it won the Lower Peninsula Class A track & field championship.