New cross-country coach leads by example


Matthew Bryant

Coach Kelly large and Kaitlin Large getting ready for cross country practice. Kelly is an American Sign Language teacher at CHS. Kaitlin previously ran cross country at UCSB and is now coaching at CHS.

Whitney Ogden, Reporter

The new cross-country coach, Kaitlin Large, is not only qualified for the position, but she ran cross-country in high school as well as at the collegiate level at University of California Santa Barbara. Seemingly following her mother’s footsteps, Kaitlin Large decided to join Kelly Large, her mother, on the Track and Field coaching staff as well. Taking on this leadership role comes with lots of responsibility, but Kaitlin Large is up for the challenge. 

Although Coach Kaitlin is relatively new at coaching cross country, she is using her experiences as a runner to learn more as a coach. Since her own running experience is not too far in the past, she can easily remember the challenges. In addition to bonding with the team, she creates specific workouts for the variety of runners.

“[Coach Kaitlin] coached track last year and cross country this year and we’re all growing together,” sophomore Ethan Lambert said. “She’s learning our running styles so she can plan workouts exactly for us.”

Being a new coach, Coach Kaitlin strives with the help of Kelly as her role model. Having a mother-daughter combination on the coaching staff has given them the opportunity to work together and on their relationship.

“Coaching together has gotten us closer,” Kelly said. “We have been able to help each other together and bounce ideas off each other.”

Coach Kaitlin has grown a lot in her first year coaching cross-country, and while much of it comes from experience, she learns a lot from her mother behind the scenes. Spending more time with the team allows Coach Kaitlin to apply her own knowledge from being a runner.

“Coaching has brought back memories from running when I see the different courses and remembering what I felt like before I ran,” Coach Kaitlin said. “Also being able to see the team bonding reminded me of my team bonding activities.”

While a new coach may still be adapting to a new environment, being such a young coach helps the team bond to the coach and helps Coach Kaitlin relate to the runners. The runners can relate to her, as she knows the difficulties that come with running cross country.

“Coach Kaitlin relates to the athletes by being really young and having run in college and high school,” senior Audrey Williams said. “She knows what everyone is going through every day, which is very helpful when we do the workouts.”

While every new task is a learning experience, Coach Kaitlin is quickly adapting to the team and is looking forward to the seasons to come. Not only has Coach Kaitlin learned more about coaching, but she has learned new life lessons from being a new coach.

“I have learned from coaching that you need to have patience and be able to understand each and every athlete,” Coach Kaitlin said.