CROSS COUNTRY: Rumsey to coach FHS boys, girls

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Flathead High School activities director Bryce Wilson has announced that Jesse Rumsey will be recommended to the school board for approval as the Flathead cross country head coach for the boys and girls programs.

Rumsey currently serves as the Flathead head girls cross country coach.

“Jesse Rumsey plans to continue with the current success of our program,” Wilson said in a press release.

“Jesse has been a part of our program from 2007 to 2017.”

Rumsey is a former cross country runner at Flathead. She currently teaching business classes at Flathead High School.

“Jesse is passionate about kids and running,” Wilson said.

“She has a strong desire and commitment to continue the Flathead cross country programs’ success. She outlined her vision and her plans to run the program throughout the process of finding our next coach. She conveyed the need to continue to build upon coach (Paul) Jorgenson’s hard work and add to his 24 state championship titles.”

Jorgensen, a Hall of Fame coach, resigned last month after 45 years of service. He began coaching at FHS in 1973 with the boys and coached the girls from 1977-2013.

Jorgensen, 72, coached 10 individual state champions and 2002 national champion Zoe Nelson.

He will end his coaching career this spring coaching the distance runners for the Flathead track team.

Rumsey was an assistant coach under Jorgensen from 2007-13. She has coached the girls program for the last four years.

“Having Paul retire is a loss for the running community,” Rumsey said.

“However, I am excited to continue his legacy and continue to build on Flathead’s pride and tradition.”

She said she never dreamed of coaching while training under Jorgensen in high school, but was bitten by the coaching bug while living in Colorado.

Rumsey began road racing while attending the University of Idaho.

She has completed seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1999, and too many half marathons, 10k and 5k races to mention.

“I’m excited to continue what Paul started, developed,” Rumsey said.

“I have big footsteps to follow after Paul, but I’m excited to move ahead.”

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