Gary Lubin of Brampton Ontario has been called a “high jump evangelist.”
“I don’t like that term. My wife is a pastor,” said Lubin, who has been coaching high jump athletes for 44 years. Now 73, he is still doing it and showing no signs of slowing down.
Besides still training high school athletes and doing clinics for the Minor Track Association, he has been working with a number of Masters (aged 35 and older) jumpers, with plenty of success. Among those is 87-year-old Earl Fee from Mississauga.
Fee recently returned to high jump after an absence of nearly 70 years. On September 11th at York University, in just his second competition back, Fee broke the Ontario and Canadian records for age 85 and older by clearing 1.09 metres.
That has him ranked No. 1 in the world for his age. Lubin said windy conditions hurt his jumping and he feels Fee can go even higher.
All his Masters athletes are enjoying success: Of his nine athletes, eight won medals at the Ontario Masters Championship, six gold and two silver, the only one who did not is Fee and that was because he did not attend. At the Canadian Masters Lubin’s jumpers earned three gold and two silver.
Lubin considers Fee an inspiration. Not only is he his coach but the two are friends and will often share an evening of karaoke.
“Earl is a computer with a body,” said Lubin. “Just give Earl high jump instructions and he performs a great attempt.”
Among Lubin’s other disciples are Brampton Sports and Athletics Canada Hall of Fame member Mark Boswell, who Lubin started coaching when he was at Central Peel Secondary School. Along the way, Boswell won the World Junior Championship, gold medals at Pan Am Games and Commonwealth Games, silver and bronze medals at two world championships, and sixth and seventh place finishes at two Olympics.