Paul Carrozza, the former owner of the RunTex stores, has been named the head track and cross-country coach for the St. Stephen’s Episcopal High School, a college prep school with nearly 700 students. Carrozza will coach both the middle and high-school track programs at the school off 360 in northwest Austin.
“I am very excited to return to coaching at St. Stephen’s after a 25-year break,” Carrozza told Texas Running Post. Carrozza, 52, is referring to the fact that he and his wife Sheila coached at St. Stephen’s in the late ’80s, soon after he bought RunTex and opened his first store off 12th Street in 1988.
At its peak, RunTex dominated running retail and race organization and services in Austin. With four stores, RunTex was the only running specialty dealer in town with sales exceeding $6 million annually.
But, RunTex was plagued by financial issues and as the brand and business fatigued, other running retailers entered the Austin market, such as Luke’s Locker and Rogue Running. Without adequate inventory and way behind in paying his creditors, RunTex was eventually locked out of the Riverside store in April 2013 and evicted because of unpaid rent.
Since then, Carrozza has coached various adult training groups as well as middle schoolers at the Acton Academy.
Carrozza indicated that current track coaches Lorin Wilson and Collin Smith will return and assist him at St. Stephen’s.
Although Carrozza won’t begin actual coaching at St. Stephen’s until the fall term, he is starting a pre-season speed and endurance program on June 1 that will run through July 31st. The program will be held at the school but is open to all young athletes, not just current or prospective St. Stephen’s athletes. For more information, call Carrozza @ 512/656-4000 or go to paulcarrozza.com.
Carrozza also hopes to open his own running academy at a yet-to-be-determined site in 2016.