Santos to coach SK track again

Ed Santos will be pulling double duty yet again.

Santos, the South Kitsap High School cross country coach, has been hired as the school’s track and field coach for the 2005 season, Athletic Director Steve Reischman announced.

Santos, who held that position at South from 1988-2002, replaces Paul Zimmer who resigned at the end of the 2004 season.

“I just decided to come back,” Santos said. “My kids are a little bit older, it’s a little bit easier. “

Zimmer, who was the head track coach for two years, will assistant Santos during the cross country season but will not coach after that.

“It was the family, we have a new child, and I just wanted to spent some time with the family,” Zimmer said. “But if a position opens up in a few years, there’s always that chance (I’ll return to coaching).”

Santos has been a coach for 18 years, the last 17 at South, including the last 15 as the teams head coach. He said South was the only place he would have considered taking the track and field position at.

“Absolutely,” Santos said. “I wouldn’t have taken another one. The reason I’m coming back is to coach at South Kitsap, because I’ve been involved with the track program for so long.”

During his first tenure at head coach, South won 72 dual track and field meets in a row during the 1990s and produced many individual titlist. In 1997, South won the girls state cross country title.

And while Santos took some time to think about it, it was an easy decision, he said.

“I thought about it all summer,” Santos said. “I talked to my wife and then finally made the decision that I’m going to do it again.

“The last couple of years, I kind of volunteered and helped and was around a lot,” Santos said. “As I’ve gotten older, I’m become a better delegator, more efficient. I think I can do a good job and do it efficiently.”

He said he was driven to return by the sport itself.

“I just love the sport, I have a lot of passion for it,” Santos said. “That’s probably the biggest thing. I just love the sport.”

He said he doesn’t feel that much will have changed in either his coaching style or the way the kids respond to him.

“It’s interesting to take a step back and look at,” Santos said. “We always have ideas and thoughts on what you’ll do. I don’t know if it will be any different. I don’t see anything changing.”

As of Monday, he said the team had not been told of his return but that would change. South had its first cross country practice Aug. 23.

“I’ve been kind of low-key about it,” Santos said. “I’m going to worry about cross country, once that’s over, I’ll crank up for track.”

South’s first cross country meet is Sept. 11 at the Tacoma Relays.

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