Vernon Kimball, from his first day at Bayfield High School 34 years ago, has been on track and on time.
In fact, Kimball is synonymous with track - statewide.
He's synonymous with track timing - in the Four Corners and statewide.
And he's synonymous with cross country - nationally.
Now the man who led Bayfield track and cross country for more than three decades is in the hall of fame.
Kimball was inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame recently in special ceremonies in Aurora.
"Vernon was selected for his outstanding coaching record and his work with young men and women throughout his career," said Ken Moore, chairman of the coaches association hall of fame committee.
"He ranks as one of Colorado's best all-time coaches," said Moore, himself a former longtime Colorado prep coach.
Kimball, in typical Kimball fashion, deflected his individual honor and instead gave credit to the scores of athletes and coaches he has worked with over his 34-year coaching career.
"I'm still having some difficulty ... with the fact it's the hall of fame," Kimball said this week.
"I feel very honored and humbled."
He reiterated to the hall of fame crowd that his induction was not a singular effort.
"The one point I tried to make up there (Aurora) is that it's not something you accomplish by yourself," Kimball said.
"There have been so many individuals through the years who've helped ... fellow coaches, athletes, parents. Just so many people."
He reserved special credit for his wife Sharon, who's taken over as co-head coach of the BHS track and field team this year.
Even though he's retired, Vernon Kimball is back this year as a volunteer assistant track coach at BHS.
That's no surprise to coaches and athletes throughout Southwest Colorado. After all, Kimball's been a fixture at local track meets for generations.
His statistics not only reflect his coaching tenure but his versatility as well.
Kimball coached boys and girls track at Bayfield from 1975 through 2008.
Some might recall that Kimball coached girls basketball at Bayfield from 1975 through 1993, winning three district titles and finshing fifth at state in 1981.
And he even coached football, as an assistant from 1974 through 1983.
Kimball coached the BHS girls to a state track championship in 1991. His BHS girls track teams won six district or regional titles.
His BHS boys track teams won seven district or regional titles.
He also, of course, coached cross country at Bayfield through the 2007 season.
The BHS girls and boys cross country teams accumulated six regional titles.
And the 2005 BHS boys cross country team won the state cross country championship, led by individual state medalist Steve Flint.
At the 2005 State Cross Country Championships in Colorado Springs, Kimball watched as Flint surged into the lead and won the state title, leading the Wolverines to the school's first state cross country title.
"That was a pretty special feeling," Kimball told The Durango Herald after Flint's championship run.
Kimball was named the Colorado Coach of the Year for girls track in 2003. Three years later, he was named the Colorado Coach of the Year for cross country.
He was a National High School Coach of the Year finalist for girls track in 2004.
He was named conference coach of the year 20 times in various sports over his coaching career.
In 2006, Kimball received the prestigious Mitchell Award from the Colorado Track Association.
He was the 2006 winner of the Yale Teaching Award. He also was honored as the Colorado High School Teacher/Coach of the Year in 2006.
Kimball received a special honor at the Regional Track and Field Championships at Bayfield High School last spring, marking his 34 years of service at BHS where he became known as a statistical track wizard.
His comments that Saturday afternoon at Wolverine Country Stadium summarized his coaching philosophy: "It's a funny thing about being a head coach. You get all the glory, and you make others do all the work."
And the key to his success?
" ... surround yourself with quality people. Then get out of their way and let them do their jobs."
Bayfield High School athletic director Dave Preszler said no one is more deserving of the hall of fame induction than Kimball.
"There is nothing better than being honored by your peers ... it was certainly well-deserved," Preszler said.
"He's doing Bayfield High School proud."
Back in the fall of 2005, one of the Bayfield cross country runners offered his succinct assessment of Vernon Kimball right after the Wolverines won the state championship.
James Sundblom reached out, put his arm around Kimball and said: "This is thanks to the best coach in the world."
Kimball will be back at his familiar trackside position today when Bayfield High School hosts the annual Pine River Invitational track meet. Eighteen schools are scheduled to compete. Events begin at 9 a.m. and continue through the afternoon.