Lutheran North’s track and cross country coach of 25 years, Jim Prahlow, was inducted to the Missouri Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Through his track career, Prahlow has coached more than 200 All-State athletes and 34 state champions (19 boys and 15 girls). His teams have been district champs 14 times. Since Lutheran North built its track facility in 2004, the school has hosted more than 50 major track events including the Paul Crisler-created Lutheran North Relays, district and sectional meets, as well as grade school state meets.
In cross country, Prahlow has led 12 state qualifying teams (six girls and six boys teams) and five district team champions. Spanish Lake, Lutheran North’s home cross country course, has been the site of the district championship competition 19 times and Lutheran North’s home meet 23 times. Prahlow has held grade school cross country meets at Lutheran North for the last 24 years, attracting more than 300 runners each year for the past 10 years.
The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame awarded Prahlow the Metro Legends Award as part of Lutheran North’s induction in May of 2018. He has served on the MSHSAA Track and Field Advisory Committee and has organized various road races, particularly Grace Chapel’s Run for Education 5K. He has won Class 2 Boys Coach of the Year six times, and received both the regional and national Boys Track Coach of the Year in 1997.
A history, theology and math teacher, Prahlow began coaching in 1976 in Orlando, Florida, where he created a home cross country course for Orlando Luther High School. He was the Orlando Track Officials Club Coach of the Year in 1987.
Prahlow and his wife, Linda both ran in elementary school, high school and college. They have three sons and numerous nieces and nephews who attended Grace Chapel and went on to complete as Crusaders in state competitions.
The Prahlows have a passion for service and in 1992, they organized a benefit cross country meet for hurricane victims in Florida. Instead of a standard entry fee, participating teams filled a semi-truck with donated relief supplies.
Prahlow credits Art Schroeder (LS 1968-72) for modeling the passion and persistence needed to pursue excellence and his father, Don Prahlow, another Lancer coach, for demonstrating the importance of designing a training program and adjusting it to meet each athlete’s needs. He is especially grateful for longtime assistant coach Steve Tirmenstein, Dave McCollister and Derek Spears for their leadership.
Prahlow’s personal credo is an adaptation of a Teddy Roosevelt statement: “Do all you can, where you are, with what God gave you.”