Tom Noon’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching and coaching were two of the hallmarks of his personality during his nearly 45 years as part of the Lake Washington High community.
On March 21, Noon passed away from cardiac arrest, and a multitude of students, athletes and friends have left emotional messages on the school’s track and field Facebook page in recent days.
“Tom’s greatest contributions to LW were his love of teaching, love of coaching, love for track and tireless work ethic he brought to the program,” said LW track and field head coach Roger Hansen. “We all benefited from his dedication, sense of humor and ever-present cheerful nature. He was thoroughly loved by his athletes and fellow coaches and will be greatly missed by all.”
Noon, 73, began coaching and teaching at LW in the mid-1970s and has been the official starter for all Kang meets in addition to invitationals, KingCo championships and district championships. Also known as Mr. Kang, he taught social studies, physical education and driver education. Away from campus, he was a longtime youth baseball umpire and a hot-rod car enthusiast.
“Kingco athletes and coaches know him best as the official starter for most big meets in the league over the past decades. He personally manicured the jump pits before every home LW meet and his pits were works of art,” said Hansen, who called Noon his right-hand man.
Facebook posters noted that Noon helped everyone achieve their greatest potential while providing a positive, steady presence on the track. He had an exceptional sense of humor and one poster called him a hero.
“Ready, Steady, GO!” was his signature call while starting races that has stuck with LW tracksters during their time in Noon’s presence.