Year Inducted: 2019
The DDRHOF has three categories in which an individual may be inducted. As a runner, coach, and contributor. Occasionally, an inductee comes along who has excelled in all three categories. Chuck Bridgman is one such individual.
Chuck’s running success started early. While going unbeaten in his CYO track events in the 7th and 8th grade, he also was the AAU Ohio State Champion in his age group in the half mile and mile at age 13 and 14. He won the AAU Regional Championship and just missed making the podium at the Nationals.
Chuck was a standout in track and cross country at Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio. During his freshman year, he was the second man on the cross country team which placed 6th at the state meet. He set a District 2 mile record as a freshman in spring track and won the State 2 mile title his sophomore year. As a junior, Chuck placed 2nd overall at the state cross country championship and his team placed 3rd. In track, he won his second state title in the 2 mile event. During his senior year, Chuck added a third state title to his accomplishments by winning the cross country championship. By the time Chuck graduated from high school, he was a two time state track champion in the two mile (1977, 1978) and the 1979 state cross country champion. Chuck set the OHSAA Boys Cross Country Championship course record in his 1978 state title race when he posted a time of 12:05.3 for the 2.5 mile course.
He went on to compete for a year at Ohio State University, getting his mile time down to 4:05 before focusing solely on school. Chuck has continued to run road races and just last year ﬁnished runner-up in the 2018 National Masters Road Mile Championships in his age group.
Chuck’s PR’s include: 1500 meters (3:48), 1 mile (4:05), 5000 meters (14:45), 10000 meters (32:02), Marathon (3:04:00)
In the early 1990’s, Chuck became the boys and girls cross country coach at his alma mater, Chaminade Julienne High School. His teams were very successful and he coached some outstanding individuals, including multiple time state champion, Nicole LaSelle. Chuck has continued to assist with the Chaminade Julienne cross country program and is currently an assistant coach and consultant.
Chuck was an early pioneer in advancing high school cross country into the computer age. In the late 1980’s, Chuck and his dad developed a software program to computerize the scoring for the Ohio State High School Cross Country Championships. They scored the state meet for more than a decade, greatly reducing the time coaches and runners had to wait for oﬃcial results. Chuck was also an OHSAA oﬃcial during that time period.
In 2007, Chuck researched and wrote a book about how top high school milers train. His book titled “ Ohio High School State Mile Champions: What They Did To Win the State Title” sold several thousand copies. Based on the book, Chuck helped coach dozens of runners remotely via email. Some of those who read his book became state champions following the guidance in his book. Two such runners were: Michelle Thomas, (Ohio State HS Girls 3200 meter champion in 2010 and 2011, and Ohio State HS Girls champion in cross country in 2011) and Danny Neﬀ (Ohio State HS Boys 1600 meter champion in 2008 and 2009).
For the third edition of his book published in 2015, Chuck interviewed Marty Liquori, Allen Webb, Tim Danielson, and Jim Ryun and included the workouts of the ﬁrst sub 4 minute high school miler.
Chuck continues to race competitively, coach, and contribute to the running community.