Springfield Southeast cross country, track coach resigns after 15 seasons
Southeast cross country and boys track and field coach Christopher Hood officially resigned during the Springfield District 186 School Board meeting on Monday.
Hood left the Springfield school to become the assistant principal at Ball Charter School and spend more time with his family. Hood led the Spartans for 15 seasons.
Shirley Bernstein will take over as the interim cross country coach, Hood said.
"It's always been a part of my life," Hood said, "so going into next year, it's going to be tough to stay away."
Hood added that he will probably still attend meets and help out as much as possible. He further said that he also plans to become an Illinois High School Association official at some point down the road.
Hood reflected on some of his favorite memories, pointing to a few of his state champions. DeMarcus Brooks won the 100-meter dash in the Class AA boys track and field state finals three consecutive years and won the 200 twice, sweeping both events in 2008. Willis Gragg also took first place in the triple jump in the 2008 state meet and the Spartans finished fifth place as a team.
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As for cross country, Sydney Huffman raced to 26th place at the 2017 girls state meet.
During Hood's tenure, Wesley Stephens and Kate Koskey became the first track athletes from Springfield to compete in the wheelchair division at state.
"That was definitely a thrill," Hood said.
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