Carroll Resigns as Cross Country Coach, Leaves a Legacy


Mitch Van Cleave, Editor in Chief

Brendan Carroll, Fair Grove Cross Country Coach of ten years, has stepped down from his position for the 2020 season. 


“It was hard to give up being the cross country coach, but it was time,” Carroll explained, “I couldn’t coach it the way I liked anymore – running with the kids (or at least running to where we were having practice), and jogging around to keep an eye on them.  My legs and back were worn down, and I didn’t feel like I was bringing the energy I once did.” Most cross country coaches don’t employ Carroll’s specific style, but it’s how he personally feels the sport should be coached.


Carroll has led the team to multiple state qualifying seasons, and engineered the first meet to ever be hosted by the school, including the conference meet in 2018. Christian Overstreet, Fair Grove Athletic Director, informed, “He has done a tremendous job.  Our program has been taken to new heights and has had a lot of success under his guidance.”


Ryan Odom is a Fair Grove alumni and former cross country athlete that worked as Carroll’s classroom aide. He described, “Every day we trained after school. He had been training most of us since middle school, seeing us grow as athletes, students and people. He wanted all of us to improve.”


Carroll will be succeeded by Jalen Supancic, a business teacher at Fair Grove High School. He stated, “As a coach, I am really looking forward to getting to know students and see their work ethic outside of the classroom. Cross country is a tough sport and I’m excited to work with athletes and see them grow each day and compete in something that they love to do.”


Coach Supancic will do an excellent job. He ran cross country in high school and had success doing it, so he knows the sport, understands the types of kids that participate, and knows what it takes to help them be successful.  He does a great job connecting with students and truly cares about them, so I believe he will keep the same family atmosphere in the program that has developed over the past several years,” commented Carroll.


Supancic reassured, “There is no way to fill shoes left behind by Coach Carroll, but I am going to try and continue his legacy of helping students develop and grow into a close knit team. He has done an awesome job of teaching and guiding his runners, so I can only put forth the same effort in helping our athletes experience success.”


When speaking on some of his favorite memories as coach, Carroll mentioned the teams and individuals that qualified for state meets. “Seeing Zach Smith earn All-State by finishing Top 25 at the state meet. Witnessing the hard work and determination that several runners exhibited to reach goals they set for themselves (Mark Harris, Billy Lowery, Zach Smith, Ryan Odom, Logan Holliman, Lydia Marsh, Lindsey Padgett, Mikah Garoutte, Kayli Coddington qualified individually for state – some multiple times). Seeing runners push through pain and sometimes injury to continue to compete (Stephen Scaletty and Ashlee Rice). Seeing Logan Holliman overcome his condition, and qualify for state after two years of not competing was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been a part of as a coach or athlete.  There are so many others, and so many runners that I haven’t mentioned but still care for. . . it’s hard to pinpoint favorites with the awesome people that have been a part of the program over the last decade,” he confided.


Several students and faculty members feel that Carroll will be deeply remembered as a coach. Odom concluded, “We were a small team, but it was quality over quantity. We were a family and I am life long friends with everyone on the team. It was an awesome environment that was the highlight of my high school experience thanks to such an amazing coach and friend.”