High school: Hatboro-Horsham High School in Horsham, PA; William Tennent High School in Warminister, PA.
Number of years coaching: 46 years
Accomplishments: Cross Country – 17 Undefeated seasons, two Footlocker National Finalists, one State Champion, placed in the top 10 for team in PA 13 times; Track & Field – seven Undefeated seasons, nine State Champions, three National Decathlon Finalists, coached two individual Penn Relays Champions, one National pole vault champion; Teaching – Wal-Mart “Teacher of the Year” award for the Greater Philadelphia Area, Suburban Bucks Jaycees “Outstanding Young Educator” award – 1986, Dr. Clifford Hendrickson “Champions of Learning” Award – 1991-92, Fellowship of Christian Athletes “Coach of the Year” award -2008, Greater Hatboro Chamber of Commerce Award – 2009, H-H School Board “Outstanding Achievement” Award – 1981, 1983, 1994, 2002, 2003
What makes Coach Bob Ayton so inspiring?
After 46 years of coaching, Coach Bob Ayton has never grown tired of guiding young athletes to their goals,” wrote one of his athletes. His commitment to the sport is epitomized in this story from a former runner. “Coach suffered a stroke in the middle of cross country season and doctors were unsure if he would even be able to talk again. A few days into his hospital stay a few members of the cross country team stopped by to visit and see how he was doing. When they came in he was so excited to see them and immediately began asking them how their practices were going and how the team was doing. It was almost as if nothing had happened. By the end of the month he was back out coaching like normal. It was through this ordeal that I truly saw his love for his athletes. He wouldn’t let a thing like a stroke keep him from his runners and that is the Coach Ayton that all of his athletes admire and respect.” This love for his runners and the sport has gives him “a unique ability to make every runner on his teams feel wanted, no matter what their skill level. No one ever feels like they underachieved when they run for him because he doesn’t let them.”