Girls track coach remains ready

Longtime head coach reflects on career, prepares for team season

Aidan Wirtz, Reporter

With 33 years of hard work and dedication under his belt, girls cross country coach Greg Frandsen, or Fran, as the team calls him, continues to come back and work with the runners. From being a mentor at practices and meets to a helpful and encouraging presence, Frandsen has inspired many of the athletes, head distance coach Alex Lyons said.

“It’s been a great time working here with the girls,” Frandsen said. “They’re always very hard working and stay focused at all times.”

Along with the athletes, Frandsen has made a mark on other coaches as well. Lyons has many great memories with Frandsen and the team, he said. One of Lyons’ favorite moments with Frandsen was watching the 4×400 state track team in 2018.

That group set the school record in an event where Coach Fran had built a string of great relay teams,” Lyons said. “It was cool to watch a person who’s coached so long still feel that excited and filled up by the athletes’ performances. That was a good day.”

Three-time sectional track and field champion Kate Dickman ’21 has added to the team’s success. Dickman has been running for four years with the LT cross country and track team and was voted girls cross country MVP the last three consecutive years. Dickman and Frandsen have built a special relationship that will carry on as long as they continue to talk, she said.

“I do not think I would be where I am as a runner without his guidance,” Dickman said. “Coach Fran definitely awakened my competitiveness and love for the sport.”

Frandsen has been a cross country coach for 40 total years, 33 at LT, and plans on continuing his experience with the athletes. 

“I’ve been coaching for a while,” Frandsen said. “But as long as I can still keep up with the girls, I’ll continue coaching.”

Frandsen’s plans on coming back are sure to keep runners motivated and ready to work, Lyons said. Even in the offseason, Frandsen and the other coaches want to get a winter running program going for the athletes, he said.

“We’re still working out the details,” Lyons said. “I’m sure if one goes forward, he’ll be heading up the program and will be in charge of training the sprinters and field event athletes.”

Frandsen also believes strongly that the winter program would help the athletes, he said.

“As coaches you want to prepare the team to the best of your ability to help the girls reach their full potential,” Frandsen said. “That keeps us focused on always striving to learn and be better coaches to not let the team down.”

As the anticipation rises for the track season, Frandsen has nothing but positive things to say about the program he’s been with for many years.

“It is always rewarding to see the girls perform at levels they did not think they could achieve,” he said. “This team is like my family.”