Plumer moving on from Gunn; Granville moving in

PattiSue Plumer (left) left Gunn High to coach at University of Texas. Here she poses with Gunn grad Joyce Shea. Photo by Malcolm Slaney.

Two-time Olympian and Stanford distance-running legend PattiSue Plumer is leaving Gunn High School, where she has served as head track and field and cross country coach the last six years, to take a position at the University of Texas.

Her replacement is national high school 800-meter record holder Michael Granville, an assistant at Palo Alto High the last two years.

Plumer initially asked Granville to join her at Gunn as a co-head coach. Then she received an offer from former Stanford head track and field coach Edrick Floreal -- who left Kentucky last month to take the Texas head coaching position -- to join his staff as women's distance coach on the track and field team and as women's cross country coach.

"Leaving Gunn was very difficult,'' Plumer said. "The kids leave you every year but you never like to leave them. But I'm so happy Mike is in place already. I think he will do a great job.''

Plumer won two NCAA individual titles and was a nine-time All-American while competing for Stanford. A one-time U.S. record-holder in the 5,000 meters, she took part in the Seoul and Barcelona Olympic Games in 1988 and 1992.

Granville set the national high school 800 record in 1996 with a time of 1:46.45 at the California state meet while competing for Bell Gardens High. That record still stands, 22 years later.

He got his first taste of high school coaching at Paly.

"I was kind of green coaching at the high school level before that, but the experience at Palo Alto was very valuable,'' Granville said. "I learned that coaching was not just X's and O's, but molding kids lives. The kids taught me a lot. At times I felt like they were coaching me.''

Granville helped bring along Reed Foster in the 800 while at Palo Alto, helping guide Foster to a berth at last month's state meet. Granville was honored at that event, the 100th California state meet, in an experience he termed ``a dream come true,'' and received a plaque for his accomplishment.

After competing in college at UCLA, Granville moved to the Bay Area in October of 2001 to join the Nike Farm Team at Stanford.

"After three days of living here I put my flag down and said this is where I want to raise a family,'' Granville said. "I bought a bike. That's something I never would have considered back in L.A., but I saw all the bike lanes here and thought, when in Rome, live like the Romans.''

And now Granville is taking over from Plumer, one highly decorated track and field performer taking over for another.

"She brought me on,'' Granville said. "I look up to her with enormous respect as an Olympian and pillar of the community and view her as a total resource.''

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3 people like this
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 16, 2018 at 11:55 am

Congratulations to Gunn and to Michael Granville! I've been lucky to experience Michael as a fitness trainer for years and you cannot imagine a nicer, more caring person than Michael. Plus, he's a lot of fun, and he's a real expert on training, physical fitness and health.

Like this comment
Posted by Skip
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 16, 2018 at 5:01 pm

I second Andrea's congratulations to Michael. I'm a regular GFit boot camper and have known Michael for several years. His coaching style is enthusiastic, inspirational and infectious. Hiring Michael as track coach should be a great boon to Gunn, and unfortunately Paly's loss. I do hope Michale continues to have enough time and energy to devote to GFit, his first love (I think).

Like this comment
Posted by Sad
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2018 at 9:27 pm

I don't know anything about Michael Granville, but we're very sorry to lose Coach PattiSue. I hope coach Granville will embrace the wonderful team spirit that PattiSue did, which embraced every participating member of the team, not just the top performers. The Gunn team is a wonderful community for many kids that are not the fastest runners but benefit the team and the team benefits them. That's a real team.

Please keep the pasta dinners going!

Like this comment
Posted by No worries
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 17, 2018 at 7:58 am

No worries is a registered user.

@Sad, I can promise that Michael will be supportive and encouraging of all the people on the team. That is just the kind of guy he is. Gunn is very lucky to be getting him!

Like this comment
Posted by HAPPY
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Jul 17, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Congratulations to Patti Sue and her next journey with Coach Floreal at UT. Best of Luck to Coach Granville on accepting the Head coaching position at GUNN. Wishing you both the best in your new adventures you about to take embark on .

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