If you’re going to hire a new coach for a sport, it’s always best to find someone who was pretty good at it.
And you can’t do better than a former state champion, collegiate athlete, and international competitor.
And it’s even better when the person was born and raised in your hometown.
That’s exactly what the Archbold Area School Board did when it voted to hire Rachel Sauder-Kinsman to be the new high school cross country coach.
The board approved a coaching contract for Kinsman at a special meeting, Tuesday morning, June 24.
When she was an AHS junior in 1990 she won the Division II girls cross country state championship.
She would have repeated as state champion in 1991, her senior year, but after crossing the finish line first, an Ohio High School Athletic Association official disqualified her because the tights she wore underneath her short pants had yellow stripes on a blue background.
The rules say only one color is allowed, even though another OHSAA official at the starting line said her uniform was fine.
“The multi-colored pants debacle,” she said.
The disqualification earned her more notoriety than a second straight win could have.
The case was mentioned in several sports magazines, including Sports Illustrated and Running Times.
“It’s still talked about today,” she said.
After graduating from AHS in 1992, she went to Auburn (Ala.) University, where she ran cross country and participated in indoor and outdoor track, racking up more honors, including Female Athlete of the Year in 1996.
She studied health promotion at Auburn. After graduation, she went to Oregon for three years, training under her former Auburn coach.
In 2000, she was part of the U.S. team that traveled to a world cross country meet in Portugal, and brought home a bronze medal.
She also tried out for the United State Olympic Team.
In 2003, she returned to Archbold. She gave birth to two girls, Rayne, 8, and Adison, 6.
Rachel joined the staff of the Fulton County Health Department.
She has served as a volunteer AHS cross country coach and an assistant track coach.
Coaching cross country was something she always wanted to do, but with small children, it was difficult.
But now that the girls are older, she said it will be easier to bring them along, and it will be good for them to be around the high school athletes.
“I’m excited to be part of the cross country program,” she said.
“I’ve been an athlete so long, and I had a great high school experience. I want to pay that forward” by coaching.
She said she plans to run with her athletes, just as her coach, Chuck Forward, did.
Forward, she said, taught her that it takes hard work to be a top athlete.
The school board took several other actions during its meeting.
The board accepted the resignation of Jen Nagel as an intervention specialist, effective at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Michelle Graber was approved as a casual laborer for the summer and fall of 2014. Her contract was effective Monday, June 23.
The board also approved Shawn Grime as an Ohio Graduation Test coordinator for three days, effective June 9, 2014.