Julie Fink decided to take her own advice. As a result, the longtime Runnels coach has been hired as the head cross country/assistant track coach at Zachary High for 2020-21.

“You’ve got to step up and accept new challenges … that is something I always tell my teams,” Fink said. “When this opportunity came up, I thought about it and decided I needed to do what I’ve always told my runners to do — step up. I am very excited about going to a school that has what Zachary has to offer.

“I am excited to start a new chapter in my life. I look forward to working with Chris (Carrier, ZHS track coach). But I am always going to grateful to Runnels … Tookie (Johnson, Runnels athletic director), the administration and the to the Runnels family for giving me the opportunity to become a coach.”

Fink, a science teacher for the past 17 years at Runnels, has coached track and cross country for 14 years. She led the Raiders to Class B prominence in boys and girls cross country. Runnels was the girls runner-up last fall, while the boys were seventh, but the school announced earlier this year that will close at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

In addition to cross country, Fink will assist Carrier in track.

“We feel like we made a significant hire by adding Julie Fink to our coaching staff,” Zachary athletic director David Brewerton said. “She is a great addition for us. She has experience and has been successful. We are very excited to have her join us.”

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com