Adam Hodges was named the new La Cañada High boys’ cross country coach “three weeks ago” and began practicing with the Spartans last week.
“I think this year is going to be a bit of a rebuilding year, especially for the boys with a new coach coming in,” said Hodges, who is La Cañada’s third boys’ cross country coach in as many years. “We have a lot of younger runners this year, which we are really excited about because that gives us a chance to work with them and get them progressing over the next few years.”
It’s the first high school coaching job for the 41-year old Hodges, who is a coach and personal trainer at La Crescenta’s Alp Fitness with a background in triathlons. He earned his bachelors, masters and PhD degrees at the University of Colorado, where he also began coaching swimming.
Hodges said he’s lucky to have inherited a program that is already up and running thanks to Jenn Strople, who is La Cañada’s girls’ cross country coach. Strople spent the summer working with the boys while they were without a coach.
“She has laid out a strong foundation with the girls and the boys, which has helped out a lot,” said Hodges.
Hodges expects seniors Brandon Newquist and Dylan Bromley to provide a young Spartans squad with plenty of experience and help build on their already strong work ethic.
“I am really impressed with their dedication,” Hodges said. “They are putting in the work and the time they need to do. They have been practicing at 6 a.m. every morning since the Fourth of July.”