Maurice Wilson Is one of Jamaica's most respected coaches. He has done it at both levels, coaching Holmwood to 10 national girls' titles and serving the country as head coach at the Olympic Games and World Championships.
I got involved in track and field after dominating my prep school sports day. My mother then bought me a book about Donald Quarrie and Jackie Pusey. I decided I wanted to be an athlete, but after suffering a life-threatening injury in high school, I was too sick to train consistently.
I then went to Mico College and made the track team but damaged ligaments in my ankle, which put permanent damage to my dreams of being a great athlete.
In 1988, I went to the stadium to watch the showdown between Thomas Mason of St Jago and Daniel England of Calabar, after watching England winning the 400m, I decided I wanted to be a coach.
I then started coaching at Ferncourt High, my alma mater. My first success as a coach was in football, getting Ferncourt to participate in the inter-zone round of the daCosta Cup. Within two years, Ferncourt got Most Improved School at Boys Champs. I then left for Clarendon College. The team also was the Most Improved at Boys Champs in the 1994-95 season. I was also assistant to Lennie Hyde, who had rehabilitated the football programme.
I went to Holmwood in 1996 to spend one semester working for Mr Edward Hector and ended up spending 17 years there. With an excellent team, we were able to win 10 Boys and Girls' Championships titles - nine consecutively - and 17 Championship of America Penn Relay titles. During this period, I coached six individual World Junior medallists, including one gold medallist; and three World Youth medallists, including one world record holder.
I have always tried to look at physique and training age when I do recruiting. At G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, we do not recruit a lot because we are hardly successful in getting the stars out of high school. At Holmwood, in the early years, we only recruited from Manchester. Now, we are able to attract athletes because of the accomplishment of the team.
Coaching is fulfilling to me in that I have seen the lives of many athletes and their families improve because of my intervention.
My advice to aspiring coaches is to develop a philosophy, develop a work ethic, show respect to their senior coaches, and be open-minded to learn new coaching methodologies.
As Jamaica's head coach, my greatest experience at the Olympics was when Usain Bolt broke the world record in the 100m. I think I sat there for about 20 minutes without moving. My greatest World Champs experience was when Bolt ran 19.19 seconds in the 200m, it was like watching a sci-fi movie.