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Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Crestwood T&F coach Karlie Poole

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Crestwood T&F coach Karlie Poole


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series was created for readers to learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Today, we get to know Crestwood High School girls track and field and cross country head coach Karlie Poole, who is in her fifth season leading both programs.



Q: Hometown?

A: Mantua.


Q: High school?

A: Crestwood High School. Class of 2012. Played basketball, ran cross country and track.


Q: College?

A: University of Akron. Class of 2016. Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Childhood Education, with a focus on math and science. Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on math for grades K through sixth.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Fifth grade math teacher at Crestwood Intermediate School.

Q: What inspired you to be a coach?

A: I grew up with many coaches in my family. My dad has coached basketball ever since I can remember and my grandfather always coached as well. I wanted to be like them. I also had great coaches in high school and wanted to help young athletes the way that they helped me.


Q: What makes being a coach at Crestwood special to you?

A: It is special to coach kids from my hometown and put them through track workouts on the same track where I spent much of my time. It is awesome to give back to the community that raised me.


Q: Who has been your biggest influence?

A: Coach (Bernice) Usher was my track coach for four years in high school. She was such a positive example of what a high-school coach should be. I still use many of her coaching tactics with my athletes. She is still one of my biggest supporters with coaching and was at my wedding in 2021.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your days competing?

A: My very first 800, I got disqualified for cutting in too early. I cried and claimed that I would never run that race again. I later went on to qualify for state in the same event for three years in a row.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?

A: Not funny, but interesting! I am coaching varsity track with Josh Jakacki, whom I have known since I was 2 years old. I coach cross country with Jim Schweickert, who was my coach during my senior year of high school.


Q: Favorite TV show?

A: The Office.


Q: Favorite movie?

A: The Harry Potter franchise.


Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: Any country music.


Q: Favorite food/meal?

A: Mexican food.


Q: Best vacation?

A: The Dominican Republic.


Q: Shoutout to former teammates?

A: Too many to count — but one of my best friends, still to this day, Tori Chiller and many more!


Q: Favorite quote?

A: If it won’t bother you in five years, don’t waste five seconds on it.” — Josh Jakacki.


Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

A: Uplift athletes and get them to believe that they can achieve their goals. Running is such a mental sport. Once you overcome that, the rest is easy. Additionally, supporting athletes of rwho they are outside of cross country and track.


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Chipotle.


Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: Mrs. Cutlip and Mr. McDougall.


Q: Advice you would give the younger version of yourself?

A: Don’t wish moments away. Enjoy life as it comes.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: Coach Usher, coach (Tom) Franek, coach (Rosalie) Franek, coach Schweickert, coach Kerst.


Q: Coaching resume?

A: Crestwood Middle School track and field (2016); Rootstown Middle School track and field (2017-18); Crestwood High School varsity track and field (2019-present); Crestwood High School cross country (2019-present).


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Anything Cleveland.


Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Bridget Franek and Nick Symmonds.


Q: First job as a teenager?

A: Ice-cream scooper at a local ice-cream shop.


Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?

A: Both of my parents.


Q: Halloween costume last year?

A: One of the three little pigs.


Q: Favorite candy?

A: KitKat.


Q: First car?

A: Chrysler Sebring.


Q: Best friends?

A: My husband (Jeremiah) and our two dogs (Nali and Copper).

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