Andrew Zimmer becomes head coach of cross country

Vivian Landis, Editor in Chief

North’s cross-country team gained a new head coach for the 2022 season. Andrew Zimmer, a social studies teacher, has been promoted to head coach.  

The position of head coach was left vacant after Dr. Mark Gudgel, a former North English teacher, became a college professor. Zimmer applied for the position after Eric Johnson, North’s athletic director, reached out to the staff to see if anyone was interested in filling the spot. 

“I knew I was, so I put in my application and the rest is history,” said Zimmer. 

Since becoming head coach, Zimmer has taken on many extra responsibilities. He is expected to plan practices, determine which meets and invites the team attends, organize transportation, arrange team events (pasta feeds, movie nights, and more), as well as stay on top of general communication so that the team can stay informed.  

While his position as assistant coach was a bit laxer, Zimmer enjoys the duties that come along with being head coach. 

“Assistant coach is a lot more chill, head coach you have a lot more responsibilities, lot more responsibilities. But it’s also a little more fun cause you kind of get to decide what things you do, what things you don’t, and maybe the direction of the program,” said Zimmer. 

As Zimmer has transitioned into his new role, his assistant coaches have helped him “immensely.” Amanda Gutierrez, a curriculum specialist, and Bridgette Murphy, a social studies teacher, are both assistant coaches for the team. 

Both Gutierrez and Murphy help keep things organized as Zimmer claims himself to be “scatter-brained.” 

Jackson Walls is also an assistant coach. Although this is his first year on the team in a leadership position, he is not new to North cross country. Walls is a North alumni whose primary role is to give running tips.  

Overall, Zimmer is excited for the continuation of the season. He thinks a few runners on the team could potentially make it to state. Ultimately, he hopes that all his runners put their best effort in. 

“The biggest goal is that our team represents us well and everybody tries their hardest,” said Zimmer.