Brooklyn-based track and field coach Trevor Green has produced his first Olympic medalist after 20 years of coaching.
The fifth-grade teacher and self-taught trainer founded the Zenith Velocity Athletic Club in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that includes Lalonde Gordon, who won a bronze medal for Trinidad and Tobago in the 400 meter and 4 x 400 meter relay. It was the first time Green had one of his athletes partake in the Olympics and win a medal.
“After the semifinals I cried,” Green said. “I cried when I saw him get on the line for the heats, but I really, really cried after the final.”
Green said Gordon’s success was an unexpected accomplishment for his small track club, which includes two other 2012 Olympic sprinters — Mikel Thomas form Trinidad and Tobago and Paul Williams from Grenada. The former sprinter says when he rounded up a few kids from Brooklyn and started his track team on a whim 20 years ago, success seemed far-fetched.
“My family is a track family so I said ‘ok, I’m going to start a track team,’” Green said. “I didn't really know what I was doing, but I just knew they should run around the track a few times. I was trying to remember workouts that I did.”
Even after the success of Gordon, Green still speaks modestly about his abilities.
“I would say I’m not a good coach, but I’m a great enhancer,” Green said. “I can enhance someone’s talent, but I’ve been blessed with good talent.”
Green still teaches at PS 46 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn but hopes to coach fulltime in the near future.