Maurice Compton, Merritt College Athletic Director, was inducted into the California Community College Track and Field Hall of Fame on August 7, 2012. Coach Compton has worked at Merritt College since 1970 and coached track from 1970-1999. He has been Merritt’s Athletic Director since 2004.
Coach Compton graduated from Castlemont High School in Oakland, California in 1962 with a full scholarship to San Jose State where he played football and ran track from 1962-1966. He ran the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay under Bud Winters and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1966. Coach Compton went on to get his Master of Arts in Education from United States International University.
Coach Compton began working at Merritt College in 1970 as the head men’s basketball coach and assistant men and women’s track and field coach. His first men’s track team won the state title in 1970. He became head coach of track and field in 1973 and continued in that capacity until 1999. Since then, Coach Compton has continued working with the track program as an advisor/mentor while also coaching men’s basketball.
Over the years Coach Compton worked with and mentored several outstanding track and field coaches that began their careers at Merritt College including Ray Norton, Doug Owyang, Curtis Taylor and current Merritt head coach, Brock Drazen. He also worked with many, many successful young women and men student-athletes over the years including state champions Warren Edmonson (100yds) Jeff Laynes (100m/200m), Eugene Swift (110HH/400IH), Ricky Carrigan (100m/200m) Chris Taylor (400m), Trinity Davis (100m and 200m twice), Charles Brooks (Long Jump twice), three 4x100m championship relay teams and one 4x100m relay team.
During his 42 years, Coach Compton’s coaching philosophy has remained constant. While he has always focused on sport specific skills, he adds special emphasis on a student-athlete’s mental attitude. Attributes like motivation, drive, desire and determination among many are what often separates successful student-athletes from the not as successful. He has always been sure to make the same connection about life outside of sport. The character traits of a great athlete are the same that make up a great student and a great citizen in society. He has known all along that athletics are simply the hook with which a person can become educated. He is, therefore, most proud of the successes and satisfaction his student-athletes have achieved in the ‘real world’ after graduating college.