Pat Melgares was born in Alamosa, Colorado, in 1967 and was raised on the south side of town just four blocks from where Joe I. Vigil grew up. Like Vigil, Pat graduated from Alamosa High School and Adams State College, and was a four-time All-American in cross country and track and field while running for Vigil from 1985 to 1989. Pat was also a member of four NAIA cross country championship teams and two The Athletics Congress (TAC) junior cross country championship teams.

At Adams State, Pat studied journalism and began his career as sports editor of the hometown Valley Courier. He advanced to editor of that newspaper before landing the job as public information officer at Adams State in 1994.

Since 1998, he has been a communications specialist and public information officer at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.


Chasing Excellence will take you on the fascinating and inspiring journey of Dr. Joe I. Vigil. Known simply as “Coach” to virtually everybody he has ever met, Coach Vigil rose from poverty to become a towering figure in the running world. Coach has won 19 national championships and coached 425 All-Americans, 22 Olympians, and an army of “Vigilantes” who seek to emulate his unique blend of compassion, competitive spirit, and commitment to others.

In this long-overdue biography about America’s preeminent distance-running coach, author and Vigilante Pat Melgares shares Coach Vigil’s tale, not just through the consummate storyteller’s own words, but also through those of more than 50 former runners and foes who have been shaped by his presence over a lifetime.

“Chasing Excellence” has been Coach Vigil’s mantra for decades, for himself and those he teaches. At age 91, he’s as relentless as ever in that quest.


  • Summer Olympics (July-Aug)- Pat can talk about what the US Olympic running team looks like this year and what can be expected and Coach Vigil’s influence on this year’s team.
  • The lessons that we can all learn from Olympic athletes about compassion, competitive spirit, and commitment to others
  • Ways that we can all “chase excellence” in our own lives
  • For National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (May)–what it takes to be a great athlete
  • How sport and other positive activities can prepare youth for the challenges they will face later in life
  • The timeless qualities that forge a leader
  • How to defeat the odds by sticking to strong tenets
  • For National Running Day (June 5)–tips about what qualities the best runners share


  • National Physical Fitness and Sports Month- May
  • Graduation- May/June
  • Father’s Day- June 20th
  • Great Outdoors Month- June
  • Running Day- June 5th
  • Men’s Health Week- June 10th-16th
  • Olympics – July/August
  • Self Improvement Month- September
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month- September 15th