Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field: St. Xavier coach Kyle Rago looking to tap Southland talent
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media August 12, 2014 9:02PM
Updated: September 14, 2014 6:34AM
Kyle Rago has had to make some tough decisions in his time.
This one wasn’t one of them.
Rago, a Lockport High School product, has been named head coach of St. Xavier’s men’s cross country and track and field programs.
“The program is in the heart of Chicago in a great recruiting area,” Rago said. “There’s a lot of potential and growth to be had. Just so much potential at St. Xavier and in that athletic department, it was almost a no-brainer to be ‘the guy’ in those programs.”
Rago comes to St. Xavier from Olivet Nazarene, a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival. He spent six seasons as Olivet’s cross country and track and field recruiting coordinator, as well as the strength and conditioning coordinator for the distance athletes.
At St Xavier, Rago replaces Ed McAllister, the longtime coach of both programs who started the track and field program in 2006.
For Rago, the chance to lead an up-and-coming program was too good to pass up.
“I’m very excited to be the guy making the decisions, to put your stamp on things,” Rago said. “Every little thing matters, and these programs can blossom.”
Rago grew up in Homer Glen, and is an alum of both Lockport and Olivet Nazarene. He hopes that South Side connection is a positive.
“I grew up in the Southland, and I’ve been there my whole life,” Rago said. “I’m hoping that background is a huge leg up and an easy transition because I know the kids, the programs, the coaches.”
In the meantime, Rago has to hit the ground running with the start of the cross country season just two-plus weeks away.
The goal for his first season? Build the team up and get the program’s name out there.
“All about growth,” Rago said. “I’m used to having 30 kids on the team, and I’ve got six. I want to get out there this fall, get the name out. People don’t necessarily know a lot about the team and the programs so I want to get the numbers up, then talk about conference titles and getting the team to nationals.”