OHIO VALLEY UNSUNG HEROES: Coyne has multiple duties at Shadyside Relays

SHADYSIDE — The Shadyside Relays will again take over Tiger Town next Saturday and when they do Jenna Coyne, again, will be there serving in her role as meet director.

But she’ll do so this year with another role on her resume — new mother.

Last Tuesday, she and her husband, Michael, welcomed a daughter — Kori Lynne.

Coyne and her new 7-pound, 14-ounce bundle of joy arrived home from the hospital Thursday and mom said she and the newborn are doing fine.

“Her official due date was April 20, which is the day of the (relays),” Coyne, formerly Johnson, chuckled. “That would’ve been interesting.”

Indeed.

As it is, the new addition to the Coyne family — joining big sister, Quinn — came just in the nick of time, a little more than week before the 48th annual event steps off at Fleming Field.

It’s been a whirlwind recently, Coyne admits, but with the help of a bevy of family and friends, things, so far, have gone off without a hitch.

“Brianne (Johnson) has really been the hero in all this,” Coyne said of her sister-in-law and fellow track coach at Shadyside High. “She’s taken over a lot of the things I’ve needed to do.

“I was actually there last Monday night with her. We had a meet. We went to the hospital Tuesday morning (for the delivery). Brianne took on most of the responsibility at that point and that makes it super nice.”

That doesn’t mean Coyne hasn’t done her fair share of work. In fact, Coyne was able to take care of many of her duties beforehand — things like getting team invites in order, obtaining hats, shirts and awards.

“That was good,” she said. “Brianne has picked up where I left off and Jayson (Brianne’s husband) will help, too.”

All three are part of the Shadyside Relays committee, a large group that works almost year-round to make sure the one-day event goes off without a hitch.

Ever since graduating from Shadyside, Coyne, a Wheeling Jesuit alum, has been heavily involved with her alma mater, especially coaching. She formerly coached cross country, too, until giving that up last year to focus more on her ever-grown brood. However, serving her community is important to her and helping with the relays is another way to give back and pay it forward at the same time.

“We all kind of do our part,” Coyne said of the committee, which includes faces ranging in varying years of experience.

“We have people like Donna Joseph and Jerry Narcisi, they’ve been around, it seems, forever. Then, we have people like me. We all love it.”

In fact, Joseph and her late husband, Butch, were very instrumental in making sure Coyne became as involved with the relays as much as she has.

“They told me I was going to be the head of (the relays),” she remembered. “I was like, ‘OK.’ It was just passed down. That’s kind of how it works.”

And that’s fine with Coyne, who views the Shadyside Relays as an event that brings together everyone, and the committee that puts it together reflects that.

“That was the goal,” she said of the committee. “The ones that have been around forever don’t want to get out, but they want to take less responsibility. And newer members are picking up those responsibilities.

“A lot goes into a big meeting like this. But everything always gets done.”

If you know of someone in sports in the Ohio Valley whom I could feature as an Ohio Valley Unsung Hero, drop me a line at rthorp@timesleaderonline.com or via Twitter @RickThorp1

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