For as long as he can remember, Scott Bliss has been a sports fanatic. The Champlain Valley Union High School coach brings that enthusiasm to his work with the cross country team, and that recently won him recognition as the Burlington Free Press’s Coach of the Year.
Bliss’ experience in coaching started early. He went from playing legion baseball to coaching it when he became too old to play any longer. His work in coaching continued into his college years, where he was a physical education/athletic training major. After that, he joined CVU as the athletic trainer. For the past 17 years, he has worked as head coach.
Bliss finds the work rewarding. He enjoys seeing the progress that the young athletes make.
“What I love about coaching is watching kids improve and get better. When you coach runners, it is very easy to see success in almost all of the members of the team. They don’t need to be a varsity runner to improve and be successful. It is very rewarding to see a kid improve by minutes from the beginning of the season to the end or from the beginning of their running career until the end when they are seniors. That is the main thing I love. The ability to work with kids for them to improve,” Bliss said.
As he heads into his eighteenth year of coaching at CVU, Bliss continues to support the program’s philosophy.
“The entire program’s philosophy is that we are there to support and help every athlete on the team. We are there to support them to become the best that they can be, based on their commitment level to the team. Our motto on race days is, do the best that you can today. Every day is different, and if you do the best that you can on that day, then you should have no regrets because you can’t do anything more than that,” Bliss said.