It’s the end of an era for Marion Giants cross country, as longtime coach Terry Lakes is stepping aside to hand the over the reins to someone new.
Lakes will retain his teaching position and will continue as the department chair for the English department at Marion High School.
“Teaching has always been the most important thing,” Lakes said. “I always knew there would come a time when I would focus for a few years just on the teaching. It’s time for someone else to take charge and bring a new energy to the cross country program.”
Lakes has been the head coach of the MHS cross country program for 29 years, and has been part of the coaching staff for cross country and/or track at MHS for 32 years. He resigned as cross country head coach on Monday, effective immediately.
“I would like to thank Marion Community Schools for taking a chance on me way back in 1985,” Lakes said. “I would also like to thank MCS and MHS for the opportunity to coach in such a great place. The support of the school system and community really made my coaching here very enjoyable.”
Among the highlights of his cross country coaching years are 11 state qualifiers, seven North Central Conference titles, 11 sectional championships, and two regional championships. He also had the chance to coach all three of his sons in the sport. (His son Matthew is now the cross country coach at McCulloch Junior High School.)
In track and field, of which he was boys head coach at MHS from 1991 through 2015, and girls head coach from 1987 through 1990, he coached 94 runners to the state finals, and his teams earned nine NCC titles, 17 sectional championships, and six regional championships.
He has been named NCC Coach of the Year 21 times, and he served as assistant coach for Indiana All-Star Cross Country from 2008 through 2017.
He said he plans to continue to be involved with the Indiana Track and Cross Country Coaches Association as well as help with cross country meets at the Indiana Wesleyan University course.
“I hope the next coach of this program will be able to build on this tradition and continue to offer Marion High School’s student-athletes outstanding opportunities,” Lakes said.
The search will begin immediately for the next head coach of the MHS cross country program.