In 2005, students who did cross country, and indoor and outdoor track gained a coach that would push them, and care for them. 12 years, and 35 seasons of running later, Coach David Londino is still hoping for one last Greater Boston League win.
Londino chose to start coaching in his second year teaching English at Malden High, thinking that it was time he did something out of the classroom. In the past, he found himself playing many sports such as baseball, basketball, etc. However, for Londino, it was running that had taught him more about himself. When the spot had appeared, he decided that coaching track and cross country was what he had to do. It was the idea that he’d be able to spark that same self exploration experience in others, that drew him to begin coaching, and excites him even now.
It wasn’t just learning about oneself that he wanted to pass on. Londino states that "[he's] seen athletes suffer through the loss of a parent, homelessness, abuse, depression, and many other difficult situations, only to come out state champions, league champions, and champions in life through their own stubborn efforts and will power." To him, there is nothing better than watching those kids succeed on his team.
“The lessons [he learns] and the strength that [he draws] from these people is priceless, no amount of time or effort could ever repay them,” he says. Londino remembers many of his athletes that had succeeded simply by pushing themselves, not just at practices and meets, but also in life. For him, it’s extremely rewarding to watch that growth.
Senior Marisa Vasquez, one of his athletes that’s been with him for all 4 of her years at MHS, stated that “he has motivated [her], not just to win first place, but motivated [her] in life in general. He’s really picked [her] up, and he’s really pushed [her] when times are tough personally, and in track as well.” Vasquez expresses how he has also fulfilled a relationship and a bond that she’s never had before.
Londino hopes that his athletes never forget that “[he loves] them and that [he will] always be there for them. The dedication doesn’t end when a person graduates, it’s lifelong, and we truly are a family. This past Thanksgiving weekend, [he] had a get together with 25 track alumni. They ranged in age from 22 to 29 and some of them had never met, but it didn’t matter, the natural connection that occurs within a family existed, and it was a wonderful experience for all. The bond that is shared always has and always will be a great source of pride for [him].” That type of connection comes to all the students who join his team.
Sophomore Taylor Dill joined indoor track her freshman year, and recently completed her first year doing cross country. “He loves to joke around a lot about different people or things that happened,” says Dill.
Although she describes him as a somewhat serious person, Dill observes the way he tries to push everyone to succeed. “He wants people to show what they have and improve from it and he’s proven this to [her],” she says. Not only this but she explained that from the short time she trained with him, “he taught [her] to believe in herself, and the ethic of hard work.”
Londino states that one thing he says to all his athletes is that “your effort and performance today is an indicator of the type of person you are and will be. The type of friend, the type of parent, and the type of professional you will be. This is where you start to find these things out.”
Life is all about change- people changing people. David Londino not only coaches kids, but changes them so that they discover who they really are, and have a sense of what they’ll do in their life.