The Shenango High cross country coaching torch is being passed back to Chris Thompson.
Thompson was hired to succeed his younger brother, Phil Thompson, who resigned to take over as men’s and women’s track and field coach at Geneva College.
Phil Thompson, a 2004 Shenango graduate and 2008 Robert Morris graduate, took over for his older brother two years ago.
“The program is in really good shape,” Chris Thompson said. “He took them to states as a team; they’ve gotten better. They’ve become more well-rounded runners as they’ve become older.
“When I first started, it was kind of rebuilding and i was building it up.”
Thompson, a 1999 Shenango graduate and 2003 Geneva graduate, stepped down for family reasons two years ago.
“We were expanding a little bit,” he said. He and his wife Alison adopted a son — D’Wayne — who is now 7. “My schedule didn’t work out. Things have worked out where our schedules are able to work now and I can put my time into it.”
Thompson also is a learning support teacher in the Shenango elementary school for third and fourth grade, a position he’s held for 12 years.
He is excited to lead the Shenango group of boys and cross country runners.
“What’s there now is the same core group of runners that have been there for a while,” Thompson said. “The ones that will be seniors next year were in seventh grade when I started.
“I get to see them graduate and finish. I’ll get to see how far they’ve come in six years. That’s one thing I’m most excited about. Both teams when they were in junior high back then were phenomenal teams. They’ve just progressed. It’s nice to see them come full circle. I want to take the team to states. That’s our ultimate goal.”