SPC – Remembering One Of Our FoundersPosted 19 Jan 2016 in Press
by Jim Weinstein
In 2014, The Race for Humanity renamed the Dade City, Florida, Saturday road race, the Sean Coleman Memorial Road Race. Sean was one of the founders of USMES and passed away on a group ride in July 2013. That year he organized the US Military Cycling training camp and our team (about 20 or so at the camp) participated in the Saturday race. This race has special meaning to all USMES members because it is a part of our history.
US Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Sean Patrick Coleman was a dedicated father, husband, helicopter mechanic, and in his spare time, a cyclist. In fact, Sean wasn’t just “any” cyclist—he was a dedicated top performer. Sean was recognized as Coast Guard athlete of the year, represented the US Military at the Military World Championships on multiple occasions and—was one of the founders of the US Military Cycling Team, now known as US Military Endurance Sports.
Executive Director Bill Jacobus and Sean Coleman worked hard to create a program that could support elite cyclists in a year-round environment. Over time, that love of sport and penchant for mentorship drove Sean to believe that a sport program focusing on more than elite athlete support would be a noble enterprise. He was a lead from the front kind of guy, an avid supporter of military athletics, and died doing what he loved — riding his bike. Within a year of Sean’s passing, USMES was born, and the grand vision of supporting more than just a small elite cycling program came to fruition and membership swelled to 1000, with growth still continuing.
For years, Sean was known to happily ride “in the front” blocking the wind and leading the path for those behind. After his passing, USMES decided to put Sean’s initials SPC on the rear of the team jersey collar. Sean now rides in the draft, watches down upon us, and is surely smiling. He left behind his beautiful wife Sharon and incredible son Taylor. The team remembers Sean in many ways—one important one, is participating each year in the Sean Coleman Memorial Road Race. For 2016 this event falls on the weekend after the first USMES January Team Camp and the riders are very excited to represent Sean and all USMES team programs.
Sean’s passing took his friends, family, workmates, and cycling teammates by surprise. Many struggled to find a way to give meaning to what Sean loved to do—and what he built with US Military Cycling.
Although the team name has changed, the sports have grown, and most USMES members never met him—Sean has left an indelible mark on all US Military Endurance Sports members. Becoming a member of USMES means you get to put a uniform back on—and with that means you carry a piece of Sean’s legacy with you.
We expect about 20 USMES athletes to participate in this years event on January 23 and we look forward to highlighting the legacy that Sean helped build!