Celebrating the Life of a Local Hero

Kosh and Flo - Leigha Baugham

The Atlanta running community has lost a legend. Col. Paul Koshewa passed away April 14, 2016 at the age of 93. Koshewa was a founding member of Atlanta Track Club, a legendary high school cross country and track and field coach, and a decorated war hero.

Koshewa served in both the Army Air Corps and the Air Force and was deployed for World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was shot in the leg while navigating a B-24 over Austria during World War II and was later awarded the Purple Heart in 1944. Koshewa also received both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal in 1944 and 1954.

In addition to Koshewa’s military service, he taught and coached at Westminster Schools for 35 years. He coached 24 individual state champions and 10 state champion teams. In honor of Koshewa’s career, the cross country trail at Westminster Schools is named after him.

“I noticed in my first few days here in Georgia that just the mention of Kosh’s name caused athletes and coaches alike to pause and comment about the incredible success he had as a coach and mentor to so many,” says Rich Kenah, Atlanta Track Club’s executive director. “Atlanta Track Club’s growth can, no doubt, be traced back to the solid foundation that he helped build for the Club more than fifty years ago.”

Koshewa was a part of Atlanta Track Club from the beginning and served as president three times. Each year, one girls cross country coach receives the Paul Koshewa Award for outstanding dedication at the Club’s All-Metro High School Cross Country Banquet.

Additionally, Koshewa has received Hall of Fame honors at Westminster, the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association, USATF Georgia and the Georgia Track and Cross Country Association.

Koshewa is survived by his wife, Marilyn; three children by the late Ann (Nancy) Deas Koshewa: Allen, Katherine and Max; and two stepchildren: Robbie and Wally.