SLHS Boys’ Track gets new coach in the form of Coach Tim DeJong


Autumn Mann

SLHS welcomes Coach Dejong with big arms as he is hired as the Boys’ new Track coach.

Tyson Head, Staff Editor

It wasn’t easy this year when Saint Louis High School Track and Field was looking for a new coach. But, with luck, the perfect Track coach was found.

This school year, track athletes on both the boys and girls team were saddened by the departure of long-term track coach Mr. PuffPaff. Stepping up to the plate, new staff member Mr.  Tim DeJong would take on the task himself. DeJong may be a new addition to SLHS, but he has already made himself a concrete part of the school, having been a long-term substitute for both Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Bernia during their respective leaps of absence. Tim already has one season of experience under his belt, with coaching St. Louis Middle School Cross Country just earlier this school year. 

According to Coach Brienna Pennock, the Girl’s Track Coach, “Coach DeJong will do a fantastic job taking over the boys track program. I don’t think myself, or the other coaches could have asked for a better hire for the program. We as coaches are confident that he will continue the legacy that coach Puffpaff created here at SLHS.” DeJong is also a runner himself, having participated in the 800 meter event at the college level. “I hope my experience and understanding of Track and Field will be a benefit to the athletes here in Saint Louis.” Shared DeJong, “Coach PuffPaff and Coach Brogan have developed an amazing running program here at Saint Louis and I hope to do my part in adding to it.” Tim hasn’t just taken this job at the surface level either, he reportedly regularly has meetings with Coach PuffPaff, discussing coaching techniques with the former man himself.

Even though change is marginally an unpopular thing across the board, DeJong has shown he’s willing to take the measures necessary for track to run as smoothly as possible. Track and Field has certainly been left in the best hands possible in Mr. DeJong. DeJong closed, “I am not Coach PuffPaff, I am sure things will look different. But with that said, my goal is not to come into this position radically changing everything. Ultimately, my goal is to develop the person as much as the athlete.”