For those of you more involved daily with the site, I am sad. I hope you continue to make Charlie’s work available. Let me know if I can help.
I wish I could jump on a plane and get to Canada. Unfortunately I can not, as I have a father who has just had surgery for prostate cancer. So to our the CF forum family members who are attending funeral, you are representing the members of this family.
I will be traveling to Toronto on Sunday to spend time with family and friends of Charlie and to honour the man himself. Let me know if there are any messages that any of you would like passed onto them. I’m sure that you would all like to be there in person.
I will be working hard over the next few years to make sure Charlie’s ideas, ingenuity and coaching leadership are able to reach all who will listen. I have hours upon hours of video footage and conversations recorded that will help to shed even more light on Charlie’s unsurpassed knowledge and intuition. I will make sure to work along with his family to appropriately pay tribute to Charlie for years to come.
Number 2, you are a great guy. I am glad that Charlie will be able to live on through this forum, through the info you pass on, and for being there for Ange and James. I have nothing but respect for you and what you are doing. I am going to try to get up there for the funeral. I know ESTI plans on going. I am not sure my school schedule will permit it. I will call Ange when things settle down if you could tell her that. I will pray for Ange, James, and Charlie.
ive cut and pasted this from the other thread. if you could please pass on the jist of it and just let his family and friends know that there so many of us out there that no one knows about that Charlie inspired and supported as we fumble towards greatness. thanks and all the best nightmare4d
"topcat said it best on the first page, Charlie will live on through us.
i cant even put into words how much this man influenced me as a strength and conditioning coach and more importantly as a man. he believed in me way before i did. i think of all the people i have helped over the last 5 years and none of them would have had my guidance and inspiration if CF hadnt told me to “pull my head out of my ass and get on with it already”. something about his passing is hitting me harder than i would have expected, its the pain that lets us know it real i guess.
my love, support and prayers go out to his family, fellow coaches, friends, forum members and especially the old school forum guys like clemson, herb, number2 etc that were here way before it was the place to be.
bobby kwasny aka nightmare4d "
A short tribute to Charlie and a small photo collage can be seen at the following blog:
We hosted this seminar a couple of years ago and I believe it may have been one of the last events Charlie spoke at. Our heart felt prayers go out to Charlie and family!
Never met him,wished I had.
I did ,however speak with him through this forum over the last six years or so and was struck by his generosity,vast knowledge of running,ability to communicate,his wicked sense of humour,his disdain for "bull-shit"and lastly but most importantly his obvious courage.
Thank you Charlie.
My deepest sympathy to Ange and james.
OMG! I just saw the news article!
I for one would be happy if we were able to persuade the journalist Mike Hurst to prepare something on my / our behalf. They appear to have had a close relationship and Mike posted a nice article at
I have edited bits from that which to me could possibly from the basis of something.
[i]Like 10,824 members of his internet coaching forum (charliefrancis.com), I am shocked and saddened.
Especially saddened at the news agency reports that typically dismiss Charlie as “the coach who gave dope to Ben Johnson, the first Olympic champion ever to be disqualified”. The charge was true and, to his credit, he never denied it.
By the brilliance of his mind and the strength of his personality, Charlie turned coaching on its head, in much the same way that he exposed the great track and field swindle at the Dubin Inquiry with the use of facts.
With his interpretation of science-based facts related to the physiology of exercise, Charlie - through personal consultations, training manuals, books (notably Speed Trap) and DVDs - has influenced every athlete who has run 100m in 9.8sec or faster, whether they are conscious of the source of their knowledge or not.
So many sportswriters since that day of infamy in Seoul in 1988 portrayed Charlie as a lone wolf, a pariah in the athletics community, a one-off rogue coach.
Since Johnson was busted, though, far more than 1000 elite sportsmen and women have failed drug tests - none of them associated with Charlie.
Yet he remains the only coach ever to stand up in public and tell it how it was, and probably still is.
Charlie acknowledged his “wrong-headedness” and although banned for life from coaching in Canada, he had spent the rest of his years trying to make amends by helping journalists expose the frauds and helping coaches and athletes - including contemporary Canadian champions - arrive at victory without doping.
A Stanford University graduate in modern history, Charlie had a piercing intellect and a wicked sense of humour.[/i]
Re this site, it will always be ‘Charlie’s site’ but I expect it will continue, obviously without the same special flavour and insight Charlie brought though. If help is needed in anyway just ask.
I just lost family myself to cancer a few months ago, he was only in his early 20s. There are so many variations of it and it seems like there are so many ways to come down with it. Personally, I feel our modern environment has much to do with it. From all the dental x rays all the way to the bad food that is served to us to eat!
This site does have the benefit of 10,000 posts by CF , great archive resource. These posts will be timeless.
Rest in peace Charlie… I always wanted to meet you in person, but now that dream is gone. Thank you for your good will to share training wisdom and years of practice.
If I can be of any help please let me know. Sad days for all of us at the forum and the sport world.
1000%. Its a no brainer what we consume directly relates to health. Even so-called “healthy” foods put a burden on the system.
I’m still a big believer that red meat, milk & sugar in particular are causes<<< Which hasn’t been proved, but eliminating them, eliminated at least 6 of my medical conditions. Certainly a much better/efficient athlete because of it.
A lot can be learned of the diets associated with the island of Okinawa which has the most centenarians & the world’s longest life expectancy.
Derek, please give Ange my best.
I’m glad you have so much recorded material of Charlie. Everyone owes you a big debt of gratitude for doing that. It’s great to know Charlie will still be teaching us new things for quite some time and that we haven’t heard the last from him.
Oh yes, in Japan they live a very long time.
I still can’t believe it nor can I find the words for it. Best wishes to the Francis family
Same with me.
Charlie made me think about training differently from the accepted teaching norm. For that I am internally grateful, it made me a better coach today.
Nothing to add, except I feel like an old friend has gone…everyday in the last 9 years I’ve read, wrote and chatted in this forum, many times with Him.I regret greatly not to have met him, nor to have successfully invited him here in Italy for a semonar 4 years ago, when a group of coaches was interested, and we actually called Rupert regarding that matter, but unfortunately, we didn’t accomplish that.
He was for sure a great guy, not only regarding track.I 've had so many discussion with coaches here downplaying his training, but I always defended his works, and I owe to him so much regarding my coaching style and career.
I hope that all our messages could be maybe printed in a small booklet, to be with Charlie physically, and one with Ange and James.
R.I.P Great Man, I’m sure you’ll be excited to follow track above there…
Wow… I’m in shock. It’s tough to believe that Charlie is gone. I’ve never seen someone with so much dedication and love for a sport. He cares so much about his athletes and truly wants them to succeed. This is a very rare personality trait and people like this are very hard to come by.
I’m impressed by his dedication and willingness to improve himself and individuals around him. His willingness to quit his job and coach athletes really shows that he was never ever in it for the money. He had goals and stuck to them. You must respect a man who does this. All I can think of is how much joy he must have felt the day Ben Johnson crossed the finish line in 1988 and won the gold medal for Canada. All his hard work built up to that moment and nobody can take that moment away from him.
I gained a thorough understanding of training from this man… however, one of the most important points from his videos is the positive reinforcement he brings. His communication and dealings with people is just as valuable as the training ideas he had.
Rest in peace my friend… your philosophies have changed the face of all athletics as we know it. I’m thankful to have lived and learned with such a remarkable individual.
I am saddened, and selfishly disappointed as I was hoping to be able to learn from him in person.