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SYC Running Contacts

We are always looking for dedicated parent/non-parent volunteers or staff. We have a number of positions available on a volunteer and stipend basis: social media manager, competition coordinator, and more.

Commissioner & Head Coach

Christopher Kernan-Schmidt

Christopher Kernan-Schmidt

Running Commissioner & Head Coach

About the Commissioner

Christopher Kernan-Schmidt is the commissioner of the three Springfield/South County Youth Club Running programs: cross country, winter track & field, and spring track & field. In addition, Christopher is the head throws coach at West Springfield High School where he has coached district and regional champions in the shotput. Christopher has been a youth coach with SYC since 2014 where he began as a high school volunteer. In 2017 he became the commissioner and head coach of the SYC Running program. Christopher holds USA Track & Field sports science, Level 1, Level 2 (youth specialization), and NFHS coaching certificates. In high school he ran varsity track & field specializing in the 400m & 800m. In college he ran for the George Mason Running Club specializing in the 100m. As a recent college graduate, Christopher continues to train in the 100m and is currently learning the javelin throw. 

K - 2 Grade Coaches

Group One: Christopher K.

Group Two: Tanya H. & Bill Y.

Group Three: Caren H. & Jim H.

Group Four:  Chris W. & Blake B.

Sprint Coaches

Group One (WS I): Caren H.

Group One (WS II): Heather C.

Group Two (WS I) Tanya H.

Group Two (WS II): Christopher K.

Group Three (WS I): Stephen C.

Group Three (WS II): Aidan S.

Group Four (WS I): Jim H. & Chris A.

Group Four (WS II): Danita L. & Omar B.

Group Five (WS II): Joe D. & Ingrid M. 

Distance Coaches

Group One: Christopher K.

Group Two: Diane L.

Group Three: Shawna E.

Group Four: Ryan M.

Group Five: Riley S.

All of our program's coaches pass a background/kidsafe check and injury awareness training. Additionally, each participates in track-specific coaching education.

Coaching philosophy

At the end of the day, winning means staying in the sport. We are preparing athletes for long-term success.

Running is an exceptional sport for children of all ages and abilities. Still to this day there exists in many sports an outdated culture which defines running as punishment. As commissioner and long-time coach of our running programs, I detest such a culture. Athleticism, explosiveness, endurance, grit, teamwork, confidence  – these and many more are qualities that athletes of all ages and abilities improve upon in a well-structured running program.

Our job as coaches and educators is to teach our young athletes the benefits of hard work and determination.  At SYC Running, we define success at its most basic level as the product of hard work and perseverance. Whether that means winning a race, obtaining a new personal best, or simply showing up to practice – it is all success.

Our coaching philosophy is simple: we use enjoyable and engaging activities in an individualized environment to promote success in all aspects of athletics – sportsmanship, integrity, perseverance, and physicality.

The tangible, measurable benefits of our program speak for themselves: most athletes throughout the course of a season have great improvement rates. And while we cannot show you numbers and datasets for intangibles such as work ethic, confidence, sociability, etc., as a parent I promise you will notice improvement.

We are honored to have the opportunity to coach your children.