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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Crossing the finish line

Kurt Hasenstein to retire after 33 years of coaching
Erika Li

Kurt Hasenstein is retiring as South’s Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach. Hasenstein has had an incredible career coupled with multiple state awards in individual track events and seven state qualifying teams in cross country.

He took over the head coach position after his longtime friend and brother’s former coach, Dave Pasolini, passed away, Hasenstein explained. Pasolini secured him a job interview at South before he passed, Hasenstein said. Pasolini left a great impact on him and shaped him into the great coach that he is today, Hasenstein explained.

Coaches shape athletes and an athlete will always remember a good coach, Hasenstein said.  With a good coach, Hasenstein explained that an athlete’s entire mindset about the sport could change. With Hasenstein’s past coaches giving him so much throughout his younger years, he explained that he now wants to give it back. 

“When you get a little older and you start coaching, you realize you want to give back to the athletes [exactly] what was given to you,” Hasenstein said. “I had so many great experiences [with coaching], whether it was cross country or track.”

Junior Spencer Rudolph explained that Hasenstein’s collegiate career also helped him understand the sport through a more mental way which has helped him motivate each runner. 

“He is such a good coach because he competed as a collegiate athlete [in]track and field,” Rudolph said. “He knows all the training [techniques], how to coach us mentally, and how to prepare us for the next race.” 

Nick Morley, Assistant Cross Country Coach and Social Studies teacher, explained that Hasenstein has developed the culture of South Cross Country and Track and Field to a upscaled and different level of enjoyment. Morley credits that to Hasenstein’s past mentor, Pasolini. 

“One of his great coaching mentors had a saying of ‘run for fun’ and ‘personal bests’ and that’s what Coach Hasenstein has brought to the table,” Morley said. 

Morley explained that Hasenstein’s pregame speeches included describing his athletes as – being “sharks”, explaining that sharks have a fierce and competitive look, which is what he wanted his runners to have in mind while competing.

“He reminds students to be a shark,” Morley said. “He tells the younger kids right before the conference about the [shark story] and they love it.”

Ruldoph explained having a coach like Hasenstein inspires one to do better, and pushes an athlete miles ahead. Along with inspiration comes mental aspiration, and mental strength can make or break a race, Rudolph explained. 

“We all mentally want to not be bad, and when you have a bad race, it does not define who you are,” Rudolph said. Even though running is all about mentality, Morley explained that Hasenstein still inspires his runners through his love for the sport. 

“He brings this passion and enjoyment and he loves the idea that every runner is just as valuable as every other runner,” Morley said. “And that has really made a lot of kids really believe in themselves.

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