Arnold "Arnie" Young had been diagnosed with cancer when, several years ago, he attended a high-school track meet named after him in Renton...

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Arnold “Arnie” Young had been diagnosed with cancer when, several years ago, he attended a high-school track meet named after him in Renton. A student-athlete from Lindbergh High School asked Mr. Young, his former coach, to autograph a running shoe and promised: “I’m going to win for you.”

Mr. Young left an indelible impression on many during a teaching and coaching career that spanned five decades and ultimately won him entry into the Washington State Track & Field Coaches Hall of Fame.

“He was always like a big, giant teddy bear with the kids,” said Geof Newing, who coached track with Mr. Young at Lindbergh High during the 1970s and ’80s.

“We would lose a track meet by just a couple of points, and between the two of us we would talk about how disappointed we were, but he would never show that to the kids. He was always positive.”

Mr. Young died Aug. 11 after a four-year battle with cancer. He was 73.

Born and raised in Seattle, Mr. Young played baseball and football at Roosevelt High School, where he graduated in 1953. He spent several years outside the state, as a student at Pasadena Junior College in Southern California, then as an Army enlistee stationed in Germany.

Returning to Washington, he played football at the University of Washington and Western Washington University, where he earned his teaching degree. He also had a master’s degree in education from UW.

In 1958, he married Patricia Pope, of Seattle. Together, they raised three sons. His oldest, Brad, described Mr. Young as the “ultimate coach.”

“He liked seeing people grow and get better and reach their potential,” said Brad Young, of Maple Valley. “He had some very successful athletes over the years, but he was also concerned that they were good kids, not just good athletes.”

Mr. Young taught health and physical education in Renton for nearly 40 years, starting in 1959 at Dimmitt Middle School. From 1973 to 1998, he taught at Lindbergh High, where he also coached track until 2002.

“He kept in touch with a lot of his athletes even after he retired. We would have kids drop by our home and show us their children,” his wife, Patricia Young, said. “He wasn’t easy — he was just fair.”

Mr. Young also enjoyed skiing on Crystal Mountain, snorkeling in Hawaii, spending summers managing the Lakeridge Swim Club in South Seattle and gardening.

In addition to his wife and son Brad, he is survived by two other sons, Brian and Brent, two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.

Donations may be made in his name to the King County Fire District Aid Unit No. 20, 12424 76th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98178.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Maplewood Golf Course, 4050 Maple Valley Highway, Renton.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com