Gray's Letter to Alumni

Post date: Jun 09, 2011 3:0:42 PM

June 9, 2011

Hello former Falcon Runners! This is your “old” coach, John Gray. I just wanted to take a minute and say “hello”. I certainly hope life finds you healthy and happy. I am still coaching although I retired from the classroom in 1997. Coach Michael Mulligan is in charge of cross country and I am his assistant. I feel very fortunate to be healthy and to do what I enjoy, working with cross country and being head girl’s Track & Field coach. The several hours each afternoon outside and working with runners is still very rewarding. I also realize what a neat cycle there is when a person stays with something for some length of time. I have now coached children of some of my former runners and know that several other former cross country runners have sons or daughters running. It is really a neat feeling for me to see this cycle.

Our program of boys and girls is getting better each year. The boys have been PAC-6 Conference Champions the last two years. They are young, good, and getting better. Our goal is to be competitive and contend for the state title each year. The girls’ teams have won 11 or the last 12 Durham City-County Championships and have had 8 All-State performers the last 10 years, including 2-time State Champion Kate Merrill in 2002 and 2003.

There are a couple of matters which we hope each of you will help us with. Coach Mulligan has started an annual Alumni Run. We hope many of you can visit and join us for the 2nd Annual Alumni Run on August 20th. Please check out the team website at to learn more or to follow the progress of the program. The Run and luncheon is open to all alumni and family and friends. We could use some input to complete the archives page and I would love old photos to include on the site.

There is another matter which I hope all of you can help us with. We want our cross country program to be self-sustaining. I assume cross country was positive and rewarding for most of you and Coach Mulligan and I are asking you to give something back to your sport. All the sports teams now have to raise most of their funds to continue to function and provide competitive opportunities. Students buy their own uniforms now. We even have to pay our own entry fees and are charged a transportation cost per mile for use of buses when we travel to big invitational meets on Saturdays. We are asking you to contribute $20.00, $50.00, or whatever you can to help sustain our program at the level we would like.

If you can help us and the young people in the program, please send checks care/of Coach Michael Mulligan at Jordan High School (memo Cross Country Contribution) 6806 Garrett Road, Durham, N.C., 27707 or Coach John Gray at 124 Pinecrest Road, Durham, N.C. 27705. If you would like to do something special for your team, please contact us and let’s talk about ideas. Michael Mulligan’s email is and his cell phone is 919-724-2435 and mine is 919-624-2269.

Also, I would love to hear from you former runners. Drop me an email at: and let me know what is going on and how you are. Do you have emails of any of your teammates? Our alumni contact roster is not complete, yet we would love to hear from the generations of Birds.


John Gray