Kapaun track coach Bob Lida has died

By Joanna Chadwick

Bob Lida, a Kapaun track and cross country coach, has died.

“He was so passionate about running,” said Kapaun sprinter Claire Bruening, who Lida coached all four years of her high school career. “… He taught me how to be passionate about running. He inspired me to always do my best, to push through things.

“I was able to transfer some of that knowledge to my daily life.”

Lida was well-known in running circles.

In 2012, Lida, a former sprinter at Kansas, set world records in both the 60 meters and the 200 meters in the 75 to 80 Master’s division.

He was the 1959 Big Eight champ in the indoor 440-yard dash, he was a multi-year national and world champion at the Master’s level in the 60 meters, 100, 200 and 400.

In a 2018 story on medium.com, Lida, then 81, was quoted as saying “there’s nothing more fun than running as fast as you can.”

Lida, despite being at least six decades older than his current track athletes, established close connections with the Crusaders.

“He was definitely like a grandfather for the sprinting team,” Bruening said. “But it was easier to connect with him because he was so kind and so sweet all the time. You could tell he knew what he was talking about.

“…He was always in a good mood. He could be really serious, but he was always very positive. He had such a great outlook on life.”