The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Van Townsend

Former Teacher And Coach At Baylor School Was Avid Runner

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Van Townsend

Van Townsend, 56, died peacefully on Monday, January 12, 2015.

Van was born and raised in Atlanta, was a graduate of Westminster School, Williams College and Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English.  During and after his years of teaching and coaching at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts and Baylor School, he was an avid runner, a passionate coach, a lover of rock music and teacher of Beat Literature. He leaves behind a coaching legacy. A recent newspaper columnist most aptly described Van as “a punk rock patron saint of local running. 

Van is survived by his three children, Oliver, Skylar and Ruthie; brother, Carter; ex-wife, Robin Howe; and stepmother, Elizabeth Townsend. 

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Baylor School Chapel this Saturday. Earlier that morning, Fast Break Athletics is arranging a morning run; please go to Fast Break’s facebook page for details.

The service will be available for viewing at 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Multiple Myleoma Research foundation at:

Visit to share condolences.

Arrangements are by Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, 877-3524.


Chattanooga Track Club • 1014 Dallas Road • Suite 101 • Chattanooga, TN 37405 • (423) 842-6265