DyeStat Founder John Dye Changed The Landscape Of The Sport When He Put It On The Web
By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor
When John Dye, at age 63, began poking around the high school scene in Maryland in the late 1990s seeking meet results and season’s best lists, he met resistance.
Dye had a son and daughter in high school and on the track team and he wanted to produce some county rankings, to start with, to see how they measured up against their peers.
In the early days of the internet, just 25 years ago, that information was unavailable for widespread viewing.
“He was calling coaches digging, and then begging, for information,” Dye’s wife, Donna, said. “Coaches back then didn’t want their results to be seen, some of them kept them close to the vest. They were not necessarily shared.”
Dye, who worked for the Small Business Administration, had interests in technology and sports. And those two things, woven together with a father’s interest in where his kids ranked, regionally and nationally in the high jump, led to the creation of DyeStat.com.
Dye wore down the local coaches until they began to see the benefit of sharing information. What he built, first with an emailed newsletter and then a web site, connected the high school track and field and cross country worlds like never before.
His innovation led to track and field message boards, first-of-its-kind on-site media coverage of national events, and a national audience to indoor meets at The Armory in New York, outdoor meets such as the Arcadia Invitational, and many others.
John and Donna Dye, through the decade of 2000-2010 became the de facto grandparents of elite high school track and field. John orchestrated coverage and upated the web site. Donna eventually joined John and meets and began taking photos of athletes with their parents and coaches.
Together, and with a dedicated crew of helpers along the way, DyeStat helped create the modern high school track and cross county landscape. Milesplit, Flotrack, Lets Run and Athletic.net all came later to expand and document different components of the sport.
“When I got out there (for the first time) and saw what was happening, I was overwhelmed by what John had done,” Donna said.
Eventually the platform was bought by ESPN, which seemed like a big achievement at the time. But the large corporation stripped the soul out of the site and eventually shuttered it.
In 2012, the Dyes retired from the daily operations of the web site. John sold…