Doris Johnson

  • March 3, 2022
  • admin
  • 2 min read


The story of how Willi influenced the life of only one athlete.

Our son Barrie attended school in Nakusp, grades one to twelve, receiving his share of blue ribbons in sports. While in high school he learned that the Nakusp branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was sponsoring a “search for talent” meet under the direction of Mr. Joe Haley of the Trail Track and Field Club. Barrie attended, and Mr. Haley left word for us to encourage Barrie to pursue the sport as much as possible.

As a result, Barrie moved to school in Trail and joined the track club where he was so fortunate to receive training under coach Willi Krause. It soon became clear to us that Willi was not just an ordinary coach but was extremely talented with an innate love of the sport. He illustrated all the good components of coaching and had all the features that are pertinent to a well rounded person in the role of leadership, with the ability to communicate that which is critical to the advancement of the athlete. His obvious intense regard for integrity, compassion, effort and encouragement was illustrated at all times leaving no doubt that athletes under his care would know a lasting impact and become better persons.

Barrie made good progress and his rewards were many, such as several aggregate trophies, medals, two B.C. records, a Canadian record, and was the first native to hold both records at the same time and kept them for 30 years. He was awarded a 4 year scholarship at Washington State University and was a member of their track team. According to news paper clippings he made at least 49 new meet records. He received a teaching degree from W.S.U. and was promised a job by the Vancouver School Board six months before he graduated. He recieved his masters degree at U.B.C. and all this time still maintained his sports activities and coaching of students. He was also selected to represent Canada at the first Pan Pacific Games in Tokyo Japan. Each one of his accomplishments echoed the training of Willi.

Our family’s pride in Barrie is immeasurable. We are so grateful to all who contributed to his success, but especially we have profound admiration for our “master coach”, mentor and dear friend Willi Krause.

Doris and Dave Johnson