A Promise Made, A Promise Kept


Matt Jones

At the 2023 Cass County Meet, Randy Kuhn was recognized for 46 years of dedication towards student athletics.

For the 2023-2024 school year, the LHS track and field team will witness some major changes. After 28 years of being head coach, Randy Kuhn has decided to step down from the position and enter into retirement.

“I just feel like this is the time to do it,” Randy Kuhn said. “I am not getting any younger, and my health isn’t as good as it once was. It’s time to enjoy life and my family.”

When first starting out at Logansport, Randy Kuhn started coaching football and basketball for middle schoolers. 

“When I was hired at Logansport, a couple of coaching jobs came with my teaching job,” Randy Kuhn said. “I was hired to teach at Fairview when it was still one of the three middle schools in town. I coached football and eighth-grade basketball. The number for football was very low, so our football team consolidated with Columbia Middle School. We had one team at Columbia and one team at Lincoln for middle school football. When Fairview closed as a middle school, I coached eighth-grade football and basketball at Lincoln Middle School.”

Since then, Randy Kuhn has coached various sports with track being the longest and highest position held. While coaching, he has impacted many athletes.

“Growing up, I played tons of sports and have had several coaches. Yet, none of them have impacted me the way Coach Kuhn has,” junior Lauren Saldivar said. “He shows all of us that he genuinely cares, and he wants to see us succeed. Kuhn will always be straight-up with you and say how he feels about your performance. There is no sugar-coating. It’s very refreshing because you know where you stand with him, and he isn’t the type to play favorites. He gives credit where it’s due, but he will not hesitate to give you a chewing out if you need it.”

Another athlete who agrees with this is sophomore Arian Castro-Martinez. Castro-Martinez has participated in sprints since his freshman year.

“I honestly don’t know how to feel,” Castro-Martinez said. “I have mixed emotions. Kuhn isn’t just a coach. He is more than that. He has treated all of us fair no matter if you were an amazing runner or if you were average. He was fair. He didn’t just teach us to be better runners, but also better people. He taught us to be humble and to be grateful for every moment. Yes, he would run us to the ground whenever possible, but he has been my favorite coach for all these reasons.”

Saldivar has run high school track for two years, starting her sophomore year. She runs the 400-meter dash and the 4×400 relay. 

“One of the more recent memories I have with Coach Kuhn was when he was listing off who was running what races at the NCC. Usually, I run the 400-meter dash and 4×4 relay, but Kuhn had other plans. At this point in the season, my legs were in bad shape, and the coach had noticed. He decided to take me out of the relay but keep me in the dash.”

Saldivar continued to explain that this initially frustrated her, but she realized the intention that her coach had when removing her from one of her events.

“I was upset when I first found out because I wanted to compete with my teammates, but later that same practice, Kuhn pulled me aside and had a talk with me,” Saldivar said. “He explained that I didn’t do anything wrong, but he noticed by the way I walked that I was hurting. ‘I just want one good race out of you.’ That’s what he told me. I realized that he didn’t want me to injure myself further than I already had. He genuinely cared and wanted to see me perform. It was little things like that that showed his character and just how much he values each of his runners.”

When Randy Kuhn first started out coaching varsity track and field at LHS, he was an assistant coach under Jim Ridenhour. 

“I loved Coach Ridenour,” Randy Kuhn said. “He was like a father to me and taught me so much about coaching, about kids and about life in general.”

When Ridenour got diagnosed with cancer, it caused some questions about his future coaching. 

“Coach Ridenour got lung cancer and had to have a lung transplant, I think deep down inside that the transplant was not going to work and in the end,” Randy Kuhn said, “It didn’t. He called me over to his house one day and made me promise him that I would take over as head coach from him. I really had no ambitions to be a head coach when I started coaching. It was always just to be an assistant coach.”

Even though Randy Kuhn never considered being head coach, he promised his longtime friend that he would take over for him.

“So, I promised him that I would do that and still keep the high standards that he had for the kids and the sport,” Randy Kuhn said. “He made me split the head coaching duties with him in his last years as the head coach (1995). Then in 1996, he stayed to be my assistant coach for one year. He wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. So, I kept my promise to coach Ridenour for the last 28 years.”

Along with Randy Kuhn retiring, two assistant coaches have also announced they will not be returning for the upcoming season. 

Dena [Kuhn] and Dannan [Griffith] have also announced that they plan to retire this year as well,” senior Payton Herr said. “They have both been a part of the program for a while as well. Dannan is actually the first female pole vaulter at Logansport. They spent their own free time to help out our program, and I couldn’t be more thankful for what Coach Kuhn, Dena and Dannan have done for the school, team and the community.”

A big reason for Randy and Dena Kuhn’s retirement is to spend more time with their family. Their daughter, Carley Camp, is a Logansport alumnus, and they plan to travel more to see her compete in her college athletics once they retire after this season.

“I have a daughter at Manchester University that is playing volleyball and is a thrower for the track team,” Randy Kuhn said. “She is very good at it and has been to the Indoor and Outdoor Nationals the last two years. Dena and I miss a lot of her meets because we have meets on the very same day.”

Not only are they wanting to spend more time seeing their children, but they also have multiple grandchildren who they want to support from the sidelines.

“We also have two granddaughters,” Randy Kuhn said. “One will be a junior next year and one will be a seventh-grader. They both are three-sport athletes, and we miss all of their spring sports. We also have a couple of other grandkids that are in elementary and will soon be playing sports as well. So, it’s time for me to be that proud dad and gramps sitting in the bleachers rooting for them.”

Sophomore Ashanta Curry has been doing track since she was in middle school. For the past five years, she has done hurdles, high jump, relays and the occasional long jump. 

Kuhn has put so much into the track team and I don’t even think that the words thank you would be enough to thank him for all the things that he has done for us.

— sophomore Ashanta Curry

“I don’t know if bittersweet is the right word, but I am happy to see him go as well as sad that we’re losing a great coach,” Curry said. “He’s leaving to spend more time with family and friends, which track has held him from doing. Kuhn has put so much into the track team, and I don’t even think that the words thank you would be enough to thank him for all the things that he has done for us.”

Something that many people have noted is that Kuhn treats all his athletes like family. 

Coach Kuhn has taught me many things while being on his track team,” Herr said. “He prioritizes family, meaning he considers his track team his family. Over the years, the bonds were kept tighter among the team. Coach Kuhn did an amazing job of improving our work ethic on and off the track, being on time, working hard and having fun. Coach Kuhn was raised tough growing up and I love how he has implemented that into his track team.” 

Other athletes have also noted the lessons that Coach Randy Kuhn has preached to them during the track season.

“Coach Kuhn’s lessons go beyond the track,” Saldivar said. “All of the pep talks Kuhn has given us have really taught me a lot and given me a different perspective on things. When you’re out living your life, the world is going to bring you down time and time again, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do with whatever situation you are in, do you give up and let yourself be defeated, or do you stand up, rub dirt in your wound, and keep going? Because of Coach Kuhn, I can say that I have grown stronger both physically and mentally.”

Curry also explains that Randy Kuhn has taught her valuable lessons through his coaching.

“Coach Kuhn has taught me that no matter how hard things get, always push through and don’t give up on things just because you don’t get it the first time, keep trying,” Curry said. “He taught me that track isn’t just a team It’s your family and to always have each other’s back on and off the track.”

Not only do people see what kind of person Randy Kuhn is when coaching, but some of his athletes also have been met by his generosity outside of the track.

Over the years, Coach Kuhn and I have had many memories together,” Herr said. “Some would be winning the 800 at the county meet my sophomore year, or getting top eight at the NCC. Although, it’s not about the memories that we have shared on the track. While I was ordering food before prom, I noticed Coach Kuhn was in the same restaurant as me. He came and told my date and I that we look gorgeous and to have a fun, but safe night. When we went to pay the bill, Coach Kuhn had already put it on his check. That’s the kind of person he is.” 

Herr continued to explain his feelings toward Coach Randy Kuhn’s retirement.

“It’s sad that Coach Kuhn is retiring,” Herr said. “He has long been a supporter of me since I was a freshman. Since then, I have had three new distance coaches in my three years of running track at Logansport. He knew my situation and is constantly working with me to improve in high school and now even at the college level.”

After hinting at retirement for the past couple of years, Coach Randy Kuhn decided to stay one more year.

“My freshman year was canceled due to COVID,” Herr said. “I knew he was soon to retire. He’s been hinting at it for years. Last year wasn’t our best year, and we all knew that. Kuhn did not want to go out that way, so he returned this year. So far, we’re ending his career very strongly.”

Reflecting back on his past 28 years as a head coach for the LHS track and field team, Randy Kuhn mentioned some of his favorite memories and seasons.

I have met so many great coaches, athletes and officials,” Randy Kuhn said. “All the trips to state track meets to watch my kids perform. We have had 42 kids get to go to the state finals in track (34 individual and 2 relay teams). Probably the boys 1999 team has been my best boys team. They won the sectional and several invitationals. The girls teams of 2003 and 2004 were the best girls teams we have had. They won a lot of tram meets. I also have a lot of memories from all the records broken over the years.”

After this season, there will be two new coaches taking on the title of head coach.

I feel very good about my replacements,” Randy Kuhn said. “There will be two head coaches next year. Things will still stay pretty much the same. They will just share the head coaching responsibilities.”

Although the athletes are sad to see their coach leave, they have no doubt that the new coaches were picked in their greatest interest.

Be proud of the things you can do and accomplish along the way. Take care of your brothers and sisters on the team. Good luck, Dena and I are proud of you.

— Randy Kuhn

Everything he does is always in our best interest, including the coaches he has picked,” Saldivar said. “Mama Khun, Coach Dannan, Coach [Brian] Morrill, and Coach Chad [Handschu] all have our best interests in mind. They all teach us how to be the best versions of ourselves and to keep pushing, even when it feels like we’re not getting anywhere. Next year won’t be any different.”

As Randy Kuhn wraps up his final season coaching, he shared a few words of wisdom. 

To the coaches, stay true to yourselves,” Randy Kuhn said. “Make the kids the best they can be. Keep up the family atmosphere. To the kids, work hard. Be all you can be. Keep up the Logansport tradition. Be proud of the things you can do and accomplish along the way. Take care of your brothers and sisters on the team. Good luck, Dena and I are proud of you.”