Winter track has 2 head coaches, 3 assistants

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

“These coaches didn’t just help me, but they help everyone,” said Kristin Barnhardt, in making the case for more indoor track coaches. “No matter how talented you are at the sport, everyone is treated with respect and everyone is cared for and noticed.”

GUILDERLAND — The winter sports season is starting with an indoor track team at Guilderland that will remain inclusive: Any student who wants to do the work can participate.

Indoor track-and-field athletes, parents, and the team’s three coaches urged the school board on Sept. 13 to hire more coaches for the more than 175 students on the team.

School board members were receptive to the plea — and supportive of the team’s all-inclusive policy — but district administrators said there were no funds to be had.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders estimated it would cost $8,000 to $9,000 to hire the three more coaches requested.

However, at their Nov. 15 meeting, board members approved, among a long list of coaching appointments, two head coaches and three assistant coaches for the indoor track team.

Dave Kosier and Chris Scanlan will remain as co-coaches while Taylor Mead; Julianne Scanlan, who is married to Chris; and Emily Haig will be assistant coaches.

Superintendent Marie Wiles told The Enterprise this week that initially, she had planned to meet the board’s charge as best she could by hiring one assistant coach, which the district could afford because of “breakage.”

This means older, more experienced coaches were retiring so that money was available to hire new coaches for less money.

Then, Wiles said, Mead, who had been one of the three original coaches, volunteered to become an assistant coach, freeing up additional funds.

Mead had been the only field-event coach, overseeing two throwing events and four jumping events — each with different techniques.

“I have to try to be in three places at once,” she told the board.

“We’re not here to complain to you that our job is hard. We understand that coaching is difficult,” she said. “But we’re here to tell you that we need help and that we want to give these kids everything they should get as being part of a school sport — and we just don’t feel that we can do that.”

More Guilderland News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.