Masterson Has Truly Been
'One of a kind'
Had it not been for chemistry, Terry Masterson would have become a chiropractor. And Hutchinson Community College wouldn’t have had one of its most successful coaches.
Masterson coached at Hutchinson from 1968 to 2009 – 41 seasons. Before that, he played football and ran track for the Blue Dragons. Coaching in sports- track and cross country- that don’t measure success in wins and losses, Masterson’s qualifications for induction into the Quarterback Club Hall of Fame in 2001 were, nevertheless, unarguable.
Instead of heading off to chiropractic school after high school, Masterson turned to the thing he knew best – sports. He enrolled at HCC to play football and run track.
Masterson had been in athletics all his life, hanging around while his dad, Avy, coached. One of Avy’s basketball teams reeled off 58 state wins, a state record the lasted 50 years.
Masterson was one of the first junior college fullbacks to combine size and speed, recalled Sam Butterfield, who was an assistant football coach at HCC as well as head basketball coach during Masterson’s playing days in 1958 and 1959.
“He was one of the fastest on the team,” Butterfield said. “And he weighed over 200 lbs.”
Masterson’s 54-yard run in one game helped the Blue Dragons beat Arkansas City. Masterson also ran low hurdles, the mile relay and threw the discus. He turned in times on 10.0 seconds in the 100-yard dash and as fast as 22 seconds in the 220-yard dash. His mile-relay team finished in the top 10 in the country during his freshman year.
After college, Masterson taught and coached at Inman, Halstead and Ellinwood high schools before learning that legendary track coach Nelson Sorem was retiring at HCC.
“I was hired over the phone to teach,” Masterson said, “and asked to help coach football and track. The first cross country meet I ever saw, I coached.” That was in the Fall of 1968.
Masterson began specializing in women’s cross country in 1980. His 2001 team won the NJCAA Division II national championship.
Masterson’s philosophy of coaching is simple: “I try to get the best out of a kid. Sometimes that’s to win, sometimes not.
The formula, applied to the classroom, has moved Masterson to make outlandish statements just to make his students think. If he is successful in motivating them, they will learn on their own, he noted.
“Masterson’s a sly old fox,” said his good friend and fellow track coach Pat Becher. “His methods of doing things seem unusual until you realize what’s happening. His kids think he is trying to kill them. Then, when they start winning, they realize what he was trying to do. His methods in the classroom are real similar.” Masterson may be as well known for his humor as anything else. “His talks to the Quarterback Club are priceless,” Becher says. “He just leaves them laughing in the aisles.”
Stories about Masterson abound. His long-time refereeing partner, Marvin Stoss, remembered Masterson’s penchant for old vehicles. “If it hasn’t been in a wreck or crippled up somehow, Terry won’t have it.” The headlights on one of Masterson’s cars went out after a game in Great Bend, forcing them to drive back using the turn you,” Stoss says, “but he’d do anything for you.”
Everyone, it seems, has a story to tell about Terry Masterson, all lovingly. Pretty good commendation for anybody, even a Hall of Famer.