St. Mary's City, Md. – Scott Devine, the director of Athletics and Recreation at St. Mary's College of Maryland, announced Thursday morning that Lynn O'Dell has been named the second head coach of the Seahawk men's and women's cross country programs. O'Dell is no stranger to St. Mary's County as she has served as a physical education and health teacher in the St. Mary's County Public School System for the past 19 years.
"Lynn brings a great mix of experiences to our head men's and women's cross country coach position. She is a former college student-athlete who has been an outstanding high school educator here in St. Mary's County. In addition, she has been a successful high school head coach in the sports of cross country and track and field, so she has a knowledge base for training and preparing athletes in competitive running programs. It is for all these reasons we are excited to welcome Lynn to the Seahawk athletics family," stated Devine.
O'Dell takes over for Tom Fisher, who served as the program's first mentor. Fisher is stepping down after two seasons at the helm as he and his wife, Stacey, are expecting their second child in mid-August but will stay on as an assistant coach.
Devine added, "I would like to thank Tom for getting our cross country teams started and established over the past two years. He did a wonderful job with the programs that Lynn will now take over. We have some extremely talented and dedicated athletes on both the men's and women's teams and I know our student-athletes look forward to the challenges and the continuing development of our newest Seahawk varsity athletic programs."
O'Dell brings experience and expertise to the head coaching position as she was a four-year cross country runner at NCAA Division II Slippery Rock University and then coached the Great Mills High School boys and girls cross country and track teams from 1992-1999.
"I am very excited about the men's and women's Seahawk cross country teams. For as young as the cross country program is at St. Mary's, both teams have solid depth with returning runners as well as new recruits," exclaimed O'Dell. "We will focus on endurance, speed and teamwork to become a contending force within the conference. I have great ambitions for this team, as well as for future teams."
O'Dell guided the boys cross country team to a pair of Southern Maryland Athletic Conference titles in 1995 and 1997 as well as a regional championship in 1997. She left coaching in 1999 to raise a family but has been waiting for the right position to come along.
She earned a bachelor of science in education from Slippery Rock in 1991 followed by a master of arts in administration and supervision from the College of Notre Dame in 1997. O'Dell has been a P.E. and health teacher at Great Mills for the last 17 years.