XC Coaching
04/28/2011 11:42:56 AM
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South Carolina cross country is dominated by the same teams year in and year out. These teams that dominate put more effort and intensity into the sport than those that aren't competetive most years. One reason for this might be that the few jobs that open up are never advertised and are usually filled with someone that doesn't have the desire to take that program to another level! Until this changes South Carolina will never reach the level of other states in distance running! Are there any schools in South Carolina that currently have openings? If so then these schools should try to hire the best qualified coaches! Our distance runners deserve the best coaches that can be found just like football, baseball and basketball!
South Carolina cross country is dominated by the same teams year in and year out. These teams that dominate put more effort and intensity into the sport than those that aren't competetive most years.
One reason for this might be that the few jobs that open up are never advertised and are usually filled with someone that doesn't have the desire to take that program to another level! Until this changes South Carolina will never reach the level of other states in distance running!
Are there any schools in South Carolina that currently have openings? If so then these schools should try to hire the best qualified coaches! Our distance runners deserve the best coaches that can be found just like football, baseball and basketball!
04/28/2011 2:14:21 PM
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Joined: Sep 2004
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the same teams for the most part definitely dominate xc but your statement about those teams putting in more effort is not true..for example my prior assignment, xc is an easy out. to not win there would be comparable to a sin. due to the community and the kids...where other placees JACK DANIELS would have a hard time winning on a yearly basis...if you notice the winning programs seem to change coaches but the success of that program tends to remain the same...so knowledge and comittment is a plus but usually great xc programs are found in communities with running traditions...and high test scores.....and don't get me wrong there are exceptions.....smile
the same teams for the most part definitely dominate xc but your statement about those teams putting in more effort is not true..for example my prior assignment,
xc is an easy out. to not win there would be comparable to a sin. due to the community and the kids...where other placees JACK DANIELS would have a hard time winning on a yearly basis...if you notice the winning programs seem to change coaches but the success of that program tends to remain the same...so knowledge and comittment is a plus but usually great xc programs are found in communities with running traditions...and high test scores.....and don't get me wrong there are exceptions.....smile
04/28/2011 8:29:16 PM
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There is definitely a correlation between the sorts of kids who do all their homework and good runners (and swimmers). But it does amaze me sometimes to see big (AAA or AAAA) schools with a pretty diverse demographic base and no XC success. You'd think in a population of a couple of thousand, it wouldn't be too hard to get a half-dozen who can (and will) buy into an XC mentality. That's where the truly motivated coach comes in--if somebody will ever do the front-end work to build that culture, in a big enough pool it will become at least somewhat self-perpetuating (and in a pool of that size, you're more likely to have a genuine talent show up, just like that school will have a few more kids over 6-5 from which to find a power forward.
There is definitely a correlation between the sorts of kids who do all their homework and good runners (and swimmers). But it does amaze me sometimes to see big (AAA or AAAA) schools with a pretty diverse demographic base and no XC success. You'd think in a population of a couple of thousand, it wouldn't be too hard to get a half-dozen who can (and will) buy into an XC mentality. That's where the truly motivated coach comes in--if somebody will ever do the front-end work to build that culture, in a big enough pool it will become at least somewhat self-perpetuating (and in a pool of that size, you're more likely to have a genuine talent show up, just like that school will have a few more kids over 6-5 from which to find a power forward.
04/29/2011 9:43:19 AM
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Joined: Feb 2007
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What you see in this state, is the districts hire a certified, qualified teacher and the teacher pool is where their selections come from. Most districts don't want to pay someone that isn't an employee. If you notice, alot of these teams you are referring to, that are good, have an amazing parent support group getting things done. We do have some great coaches and you are right, people don't want to give up the jobs. Alot of the successful coaches were successful runners as well. I think their expectations are higher alot of times. CC is fun and you can't blame people for holding on. I guess with the job postings, there is usually an assitant waiting with such longevity of the prior coach!
What you see in this state, is the districts hire a certified, qualified teacher and the teacher pool is where their selections come from. Most districts don't want to pay someone that isn't an employee.
If you notice, alot of these teams you are referring to, that are good, have an amazing parent support group getting things done.
We do have some great coaches and you are right, people don't want to give up the jobs. Alot of the successful coaches were successful runners as well. I think their expectations are higher alot of times. CC is fun and you can't blame people for holding on. I guess with the job postings, there is usually an assitant waiting with such longevity of the prior coach!
04/29/2011 10:41:25 AM
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Joined: Apr 2004
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[b]HS XC JOB DESCRIPTION:[/b] This job offers very low pay, long hours, virtually no support from school administration, lack of funding, no on-campus facilities, antiquated school uniforms, last-in-priority for weight room, athletic trainers who know little about the sport and few parents who are willing to help. Must have CDL that you pay for with your own money. And you must raise enough money to cover the costs of travel, food, sweats, entry fees, etc. It is fun, however! [b]Please note:[/b] When you do win invitationals, region, county, state qualifier and state championships -- and have the highest GPA among any sports teams -- you won't be bothered with recognition from the principal, AD, booster club or pretty much anyone else. That's because they are at the football games where the team is rolling to an impressive 1-9 season record! Resumes are being accepted for highly qualified individuals. Call: (555) 555-5555.
HS XC JOB DESCRIPTION: This job offers very low pay, long hours, virtually no support from school administration, lack of funding, no on-campus facilities, antiquated school uniforms, last-in-priority for weight room, athletic trainers who know little about the sport and few parents who are willing to help. Must have CDL that you pay for with your own money. And you must raise enough money to cover the costs of travel, food, sweats, entry fees, etc. It is fun, however!
Please note: When you do win invitationals, region, county, state qualifier and state championships -- and have the highest GPA among any sports teams -- you won't be bothered with recognition from the principal, AD, booster club or pretty much anyone else. That's because they are at the football games where the team is rolling to an impressive 1-9 season record!
Resumes are being accepted for highly qualified individuals. Call: (555) 555-5555.
04/29/2011 11:06:49 AM
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@OnceARunnr You are exactly right. I bet if you look at the successful programs in SC they all have strong parent support. I have been fortunate enough to work with a great group of parents and also to have an administration that supports our program. Our principal and superintendent are at our state meet every year and that really means alot to the kids. I think another key ingredient is having two programs that are strong. Look at the top teams in the state and many are strong in both the boys and girls programs. You build a culture of success and it generates excitement in both programs. You also have to know to be successful as a XC coach you better be willing to work your tail off and have kids that are willing to commit to year round running. I tell my girls all the time that not many kids are willing to give up their summers and sleeping late to run XC. They are a special group of kids. Is there a better group of kids to coach?? No. I wouldn't trade my XC kids for any other group of athletes and that is what makes coaching XC so satisfying. I also think we have a wonderful group of XC coaches in our state that care about kids and doing what is right by kids. We have some fine distance coaches in our colleges and universities who work hard to build programs and help young kids grow into fine young adults. Good luck to everyone as the spring winds down and keep the kids running.
@OnceARunnr
You are exactly right. I bet if you look at the successful programs in SC they all have strong parent support. I have been fortunate enough to work with a great group of parents and also to have an administration that supports our program. Our principal and superintendent are at our state meet every year and that really means alot to the kids.

I think another key ingredient is having two programs that are strong. Look at the top teams in the state and many are strong in both the boys and girls programs. You build a culture of success and it generates excitement in both programs.

You also have to know to be successful as a XC coach you better be willing to work your tail off and have kids that are willing to commit to year round running. I tell my girls all the time that not many kids are willing to give up their summers and sleeping late to run XC. They are a special group of kids.

Is there a better group of kids to coach?? No. I wouldn't trade my XC kids for any other group of athletes and that is what makes coaching XC so satisfying.

I also think we have a wonderful group of XC coaches in our state that care about kids and doing what is right by kids. We have some fine distance coaches in our colleges and universities who work hard to build programs and help young kids grow into fine young adults.

Good luck to everyone as the spring winds down and keep the kids running.
04/29/2011 12:44:07 PM
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Joined: Sep 2004
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the points are right on... that job sounds like a good one once a runner ! i truly believe in team building, unity..with equality to all.. the talented, the different,the not so good and the others....smile but parent support can come in several froms...if it is indeed support and not a disguise, it can be a great thing...I am truly blessed to have sincere,loyal support these days and my athletes if not the states best, work hard, love practice and believe it or not, are getting better...smile
the points are right on...
that job sounds like a good one once a runner !
i truly believe in team building, unity..with equality to all.. the talented,
the different,the not so good and the others....smile

but parent support can come in several froms...if it is indeed support and not a disguise, it can be a great thing...I am truly blessed to have sincere,loyal support
these days and my athletes if not the states best, work hard,
love practice and believe it or not, are getting better...smile
04/29/2011 1:32:32 PM
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Joined: Apr 2004
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@2222 Don't get me wrong -- and so many do!! -- I loved every minute of high school coaching. College is about the same, but better in every way and worse, too. I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything. Best group of kids you could ever spend time with. And I certainly didn't mean to demean parents. Many became some of my best friends, but one or two bad ones can spoil every-single-thing about the sport. If you have a school that supports your team, including other students, teachers, other coaches, other clubs/sports/band/etc., and administration, count your blessings. And don't leave.
@2222

Don't get me wrong -- and so many do!! -- I loved every minute of high school coaching.
College is about the same, but better in every way and worse, too.

I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything. Best group of kids you could ever spend time with.

And I certainly didn't mean to demean parents. Many became some of my best friends, but one or two bad ones can spoil every-single-thing about the sport.

If you have a school that supports your team, including other students, teachers, other coaches, other clubs/sports/band/etc., and administration, count your blessings. And don't leave.
05/02/2011 10:56:27 AM
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Joined: Apr 2004
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@Bentay To answer the original question, jobs aren't advertised -- I'm guessing -- because they pay so little. In Greenville County, starting pay is $1,200 per season for a cross country coach. And many high schools have unwritten rules that the coach must be a teacher in the district.
@Bentay
To answer the original question, jobs aren't advertised -- I'm guessing -- because they pay so little. In Greenville County, starting pay is $1,200 per season for a cross country coach.
And many high schools have unwritten rules that the coach must be a teacher in the district.
05/02/2011 12:28:45 PM
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I can say from experience money is not an issue! If you are in coaching for money then you are barking up the wrong tree! Football might be the only sport where money is an issue! Just a word of advise for the cross country coaches that are succesful, stay in the jobs you are in! I got out a year ago for personal reasons and would love to get back in but in a year and a half there has been one job available.
I can say from experience money is not an issue! If you are in coaching for money then you are barking up the wrong tree! Football might be the only sport where money is an issue! Just a word of advise for the cross country coaches that are succesful, stay in the jobs you are in! I got out a year ago for personal reasons and would love to get back in but in a year and a half there has been one job available.
05/02/2011 2:45:55 PM
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Joined: Apr 2004
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Here are openings for 3 track and 1 cross country positions: Charleston Math & Science: Coaching positions Looking for volleyball, basketball, [b]cross country, track[/b], varsity girls tennis coaches. North Augusta High: Head Coach opening in Varsity Volleyball. We also have Assistant Coaching openings in Football, Volleyball, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Softball, Soccer and [b]Track[/b]. Cane Bay High School: Openings for the 2011/12 school year. JV & VR football, [b]Head Boys Track[/b], JV Girls Soccer,Girls & Boys Tennis.
Here are openings for 3 track and 1 cross country positions:

Charleston Math & Science: Coaching positions Looking for volleyball, basketball, cross country, track, varsity girls tennis coaches.

North Augusta High: Head Coach opening in Varsity Volleyball. We also have Assistant Coaching openings in Football, Volleyball, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Softball, Soccer and Track.

Cane Bay High School: Openings for the 2011/12 school year. JV & VR football, Head Boys Track, JV Girls Soccer,Girls & Boys Tennis.
05/03/2011 7:30:20 AM
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@OnceARunnr I am looking for some help with Cross Country at Greenville High School if anyone is interested or knows anybody. Send an email to sp63545@gmail.com if so.
@OnceARunnr

I am looking for some help with Cross Country at Greenville High School if anyone is interested or knows anybody. Send an email to sp63545@gmail.com if so.
05/03/2011 8:05:48 AM
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There are several coaching positions available in Charleston County with a few track positions, no CC yet. Next year all coaches must be certified employees in CCSD which is why there are many openings. Most teacher positions are not open yet as we are not being issued contracts until Friday. The link is here: http://www.ccsdschools.com/Employment/Teachers/documents/TeacherVacancies2012.pdf
There are several coaching positions available in Charleston County with a few track positions, no CC yet. Next year all coaches must be certified employees in CCSD which is why there are many openings. Most teacher positions are not open yet as we are not being issued contracts until Friday.
The link is here:
http://www.ccsdschools.com/Employment/Teachers/documents/TeacherVacancies2012.pdf
05/03/2011 2:47:17 PM
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Great topic and a lot of great responses. I teach and coach in a high poverty school in the Pee Dee. I understand all the correlations between grades and distance running as well as parental support. I don't care where you go, you can find both smart kids and supportive parents. Granted it may be easier in some locations than in others, but it is still possible. I also take these into consideration when I am recruiting kids. The majority of my runners (we had 31 on the team last year) were from our magnet school or were in honors classes. These kids become the core of my program and they become my greatest recruiters too. We have built a family and are starting to build a running culture. Many of our parents have started to get themselves in better shape too. Success is not determined by socio-economics. Sure, the hand I have been dealt is not the best hand, but it doesn't mean I can't win with that hand. It just means I got to know how to play the cards. The kids are starting to buy into the mentality a little bit more each year. They are seeing the benefits of the mileage and they love the camaraderie they experience too. Regarding pay...it sucks! Really no other way to put it. However, it is what it is. I get paid for CC and volunteer for track. I LOVE EVERY MINUTE! The long term rewards are much more valuable than any dollar amount. Bottom line, losers complain about their circumstances...winners find a way to win!
Great topic and a lot of great responses.
I teach and coach in a high poverty school in the Pee Dee. I understand all the correlations between grades and distance running as well as parental support. I don't care where you go, you can find both smart kids and supportive parents. Granted it may be easier in some locations than in others, but it is still possible. I also take these into consideration when I am recruiting kids. The majority of my runners (we had 31 on the team last year) were from our magnet school or were in honors classes. These kids become the core of my program and they become my greatest recruiters too. We have built a family and are starting to build a running culture. Many of our parents have started to get themselves in better shape too. Success is not determined by socio-economics. Sure, the hand I have been dealt is not the best hand, but it doesn't mean I can't win with that hand. It just means I got to know how to play the cards. The kids are starting to buy into the mentality a little bit more each year. They are seeing the benefits of the mileage and they love the camaraderie they experience too.
Regarding pay...it sucks! Really no other way to put it. However, it is what it is. I get paid for CC and volunteer for track. I LOVE EVERY MINUTE! The long term rewards are much more valuable than any dollar amount.
Bottom line, losers complain about their circumstances...winners find a way to win!
05/03/2011 3:44:40 PM
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Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 804
[quote=Bentay]I can say from experience money is not an issue! If you are in coaching for money then you are barking up the wrong tree![/quote] I hear ya, but the athletic directors are going to have a hard time paying a few hundred dolalrs to advertise in a newspaper or two, on a help-wanted web site, and other places when the actual job pays so little. You usually hear about these jobs by word-of-mouth.
Bentay wrote:
I can say from experience money is not an issue! If you are in coaching for money then you are barking up the wrong tree!


I hear ya, but the athletic directors are going to have a hard time paying a few hundred dolalrs to advertise in a newspaper or two, on a help-wanted web site, and other places when the actual job pays so little.

You usually hear about these jobs by word-of-mouth.
05/04/2011 9:44:53 AM
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Joined: Sep 2004
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@iwannarun ...i really respect what you are/have done....i personally have been in both situations and agree a little work, a little help, and some motivation can build a program that wins... the can have good/great regular seasons and may win a few region titles but the schools that win multiple STATE titles are very similar in make up....history speaks...the schools with more than 5 STATE titles with few exceptions did it under several different coaches...then maybe they only hire the best coaches. SMILE now on the flip side, poor coaches can stall/halt or even ruin these storied programs, and a few coaches (lemphesis) seem to be a title magnet regardless of the school or make up..
@iwannarun ...i really respect what you are/have done....i personally have been in both situations and agree a little work, a little help, and some motivation can build a program that wins... the can have good/great regular seasons and may win a few region titles but the schools that win multiple STATE titles are very similar in make up....history speaks...the schools with more than 5 STATE titles with few exceptions
did it under several different coaches...then maybe they only hire the best coaches.
SMILE
now on the flip side, poor coaches can stall/halt or even ruin these storied programs,
and a few coaches (lemphesis) seem to be a title magnet regardless of the school or make up..
05/04/2011 3:00:09 PM
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Totally understand where you are coming from 2222. The reality for me though is less about the makeup of a program, but more about the way the program is built and who the program is handed over to when one leaves. The worse thing that can happen is have somebody come in to a successful program and try to change things wholesale. We see that happen all the time. The successful programs that continue to have success year in and year out no matter the coach are the ones that have great feeder programs and they hire coaches that understand that you tweak things. They seek out coaches who have that mentality and it usually not too difficult to find them. I was fortunate that when I took over, only two or three kids from the previous coach decided to keep running. That meant I got to basically start from scratch. I was able to establish traditions and not have to hear things like, "that's not how we used to do it." My goal is to get our program to the top and challenge for state titles regardless of socio-economics. I am at the same time realistic of where we are and who the "historically" good teams are. My goal is that some day somebody will say the same thing about us. All dynasty's start with one championship and build from there.
Totally understand where you are coming from 2222. The reality for me though is less about the makeup of a program, but more about the way the program is built and who the program is handed over to when one leaves. The worse thing that can happen is have somebody come in to a successful program and try to change things wholesale. We see that happen all the time. The successful programs that continue to have success year in and year out no matter the coach are the ones that have great feeder programs and they hire coaches that understand that you tweak things. They seek out coaches who have that mentality and it usually not too difficult to find them. I was fortunate that when I took over, only two or three kids from the previous coach decided to keep running. That meant I got to basically start from scratch. I was able to establish traditions and not have to hear things like, "that's not how we used to do it." My goal is to get our program to the top and challenge for state titles regardless of socio-economics. I am at the same time realistic of where we are and who the "historically" good teams are. My goal is that some day somebody will say the same thing about us. All dynasty's start with one championship and build from there.
05/04/2011 4:58:09 PM
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Joined: Apr 2004
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2222 should have been talking about himself instead of Ms. Lempesis, although she was always on top. He was a success not just at Daniel, but BHP and Ninety Six as well. Maybe somewhere else? And in both cross country and track. Now Daniel, I can see, but BHP and Ninety Six are not traditional powers. It's an impressive resume. And if you look at the people who have won team state titles in track and XC, and at three schools, it's a short list. Maybe his is the only name on it (too lazy to check myself!). I don't always agree with the way he coaches, but I can't disagree with the results. So maybe he will start sharing his wisdom??
2222 should have been talking about himself instead of Ms. Lempesis, although she was always on top.

He was a success not just at Daniel, but BHP and Ninety Six as well. Maybe somewhere else? And in both cross country and track.

Now Daniel, I can see, but BHP and Ninety Six are not traditional powers. It's an impressive resume.

And if you look at the people who have won team state titles in track and XC, and at three schools, it's a short list. Maybe his is the only name on it (too lazy to check myself!).

I don't always agree with the way he coaches, but I can't disagree with the results. So maybe he will start sharing his wisdom??
05/06/2011 11:01:47 AM
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Being raised in Oregon, I am familar with top quality prep distance running running. My soph year of high school (68-69), Oregon, with about one percent of the US population had nine of the top 20 prep two milers in the country (led by Steve Prefontaine and Mark Hiefield). The state of distance running in SC is directly attributable to the socio-economic culture in the state. Having said that, I started the XC program at McBee in 2010 with zero budget including no stipend and will be reaping the benefits in years to come in XC and track. With a few notable exceptions, there is a dearth of knowledgeable distance coaches among the smaller schools. Of course, the upside is that leadership vacuum creates opportunity for Class A schools. If a distance coach has never heard of Arthur Lydiard, Peter Snell, Bill Bowerman, Frank Shorter, Jim Ryun or Pre, he needs to do a little homework.
Being raised in Oregon, I am familar with top quality prep distance running running. My soph year of high school (68-69), Oregon, with about one percent of the US population had nine of the top 20 prep two milers in the country (led by Steve Prefontaine and Mark Hiefield).
The state of distance running in SC is directly attributable to the socio-economic culture in the state. Having said that, I started the XC program at McBee in 2010 with zero budget including no stipend and will be reaping the benefits in years to come in XC and track.
With a few notable exceptions, there is a dearth of knowledgeable distance coaches among the smaller schools. Of course, the upside is that leadership vacuum creates opportunity for Class A schools.
If a distance coach has never heard of Arthur Lydiard, Peter Snell, Bill Bowerman, Frank Shorter, Jim Ryun or Pre, he needs to do a little homework.

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