This fall, Lisa Dood will take the reigns as head coach of the Cross Country team from longtime leader Julie Alpers, who is retiring after ten years in the position. Lisa comes to the district with years of coaching experience at Ionia Schools and a lifelong passion for running.
Q: What is your experience as a runner and a coach?
A: I've run my entire life and I've coached, in total, 18 years of high school track. My daughter was in the cross country program and eventually went on to be an All-American in college, so I worked a lot with the Cross Country Program then. My husband and I both run, it's my "second marriage." My husband won his age group at at the Chicago Marathon, so that was kind of cool. So yeah, running is in our blood! What I love about running is that it's a strength. It's truly like a fight-or-flight thing. I might not be able to fight, but I can always flight, so it truly empowers me.
Q: What values do you want to instill in your athletes?
A: A good quality program teaches kids how to do things that they didn't think they could do before. Running teaches you that you have the ability to do things you didn't think you could do. And that is really important to remember.
Q: What are you most excited about this season?
A: As far as cross country goes, building that close-knit community. My best friend from high school is still my best friend because we ran together. Those kinds of bonds last forever because you share such an experience. If that's done, right, which obviously it has been here, thanks to Julie [Alpers], it's a great, a great gift. I am honored to be able to carry on that legacy."
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