Gulfwinds Triathletes Facebook   Twitter

Why is Gary Droze special to our family?

Jane Johnson


Gary made a positive difference in our daughter's life

Vicki Emo

Gary Droze was such an important part of Jennifer's middle and high school years. He encouraged Jennifer. He developed her talent as a runner, and he made her feel like she was important and special. He provided for Jennifer, as well as countless other young people, a positive activity and atmosphere where the students felt respected, safe, and encouraged. Gary has always had the ability to motivate young people to challenge themselves to become better runners, harder workers, and positive role models. While coaching, he commanded such respect from his runners, not only because he was such an accomplished runner but because he embodied the values he strove to instill in them. I remember Gary winning Coach of the Year multiple times, which was a title well deserved.

Gary was always a person who didn't thrive on the material things in life. He had a modest car and required few material things in life. Besides running, one of his passions is his wife, Vicky. I remember he asked her to marry him by having his runners hold up a sign at a track meet asking her to marry him. I remember another passion of Gary's was/is fishing. Every available opportunity, he went fishing. Sometimes he took someone else with him, but most of the time he went by himself.

Gary has blessed the lives of countless young person and their parents.


Not once, but twice!

Craig Willis

I appreciate the opportunity to comment on Gary’s history of excellence at Maclay. I don’t know that I’m very adept at providing quotable statements, but as a parent of not just one daughter, Caroline, who ran cross-country and track for Coach Droze, but two (Mary Caitlin, my older daughter, ran for Gary in the early 2000s), I can say without equivocation that this is a well-deserved honor.

He brought out the best in both of them. He not only is able to bring out the best in his athletes, but more importantly the best as well-rounded young adults. He placed Caroline in leadership roles with his younger runners before she knew how to be a leader, and by doing so taught her life skills that will benefit her for the rest of her life.

Gary took the time to write letters of recommendation for colleges for Caroline, which may be expected as a standard part of a Coach’s duties, but then stayed in contact with her during her Freshman year at college and helped her receive a Fellowship to study synthetic biology at Davidson College this summer. Gary inspires his students not only because he works to achieve their best as athletes as part of a team, but also clearly communicates his genuine concern for them as individuals as well. I hold Gary in my highest esteem as a coach and as a person. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor.