Dylan Cope spent last season helping to build the foundation for the Richmond High School cross country program.
Now, he gets a chance to lead it.
Cope, who spent last autumn coaching the Richmond Intermediate School team, will lead the Red Devils varsity in the fall.
“I love running and I love helping others discover how much fun running and competing is,” Cope said of why he was excited to be taking on the position. “We will be competing against others but more importantly we will be competing against ourselves.
“This sport is all about self-improvement and being better than we were yesterday. I am excited to offer a place where kids can build new friendships as well as their confidence.”
Cope is a graduate of Jay County High School and IU East University. At both schools, he ran track and cross country. He is employed as a night auditor at Hilton.
During his four-year running career for the Red Wolves, Cope qualified for nationals in cross country and IU East finished third one year as a team. Meanwhile, Cope still holds the 800 and 1500-meter records for the Red Wolves.
Now, as a first-year coach, he is looking to help runners achieve the right mindset as the season is set to begin in a few weeks.
“Running can be intimidating and very difficult at times but we can help anyone learn how to run,” Cope said. “A lot of this sport is about having the right mindset and we are not going to make anyone run beyond what they are capable of. We can help anyone develop the resilience it takes to run. I believe that it is important to stay active, especially after having a long day at school.
“If you have an interest in our sport, come try it out and see if it is for you. We will accept anyone who is interested. Also, to the existing runners, we will challenge you to become a stronger athlete.”