Jody Hawkins, a former world-class runner, has been named as the new head track coach at Cedar Park High School. Hawkins, who has an extensive background in Texas coaching at the collegiate and high school level, was most recently the head women’s coach on the US national cross-country team that went to the Great Edinburgh Cross-Country race in Scotland in January.

The 48-year-old is a 1989 graduate of UT—San Antonio where she was a five-time All American and set every distance record. From there, Hawkins became a professional runner and was a top-ranked American road racer, including being number one in the 10-mile distance in 1993. Her road bests are 5-K (15:45), 10-K (32:38), 10 mile (57:15) and half marathon (1:11:47).

Hawkins has continued to race as a masters runner and set the American masters 3000 indoor record in 2007 of 9:56.24 (just surpassed a week ago by Sonja Friend-Uhl). As recently as two years ago, Hawkins won the ’13 national masters cross-country title. She has raced occasionally in Austin; the last time was in 2008 when she finished second in the USATF Masters 10-K road championships in 36:26.

An eight-time US national team member, Hawkins is a USA Level One Certified Coach who has coached at every level, including two different national cross-country teams. She and her husband have also owned and managed the Leap of Faith Cross Country Distance Camp in Blooming Grove for eight years.

Hawkins has been a high school coach and teacher in Frisco at Centennial HS for 10 years) and Corsicana HS before that. She was also the head coach at the University of Dallas and Northwood University in Cedar Hill. In 2008, she was the NCAA Division III women’s cross-country of the year.

For the past two years, Hawkins, who has been living in Blooming Grove, has not coached high school or college as she and her husband Mark (also a top runner) concentrated on raising her two sons (one who lives in Austin) and the other who will run for UTSA in the fall. She also has a daughter who will go to college in California.

Hawkins will replace Timo Sheard, who was the head coach at Cedar Park HS for 17 years, but was placed on administrative leave by the school district on September 2. Then, in late October, Sheard was arrested by Cedar Park police and charged with three counts of indecency with a child by sexual conduct. The three allegations are from former Cedar Park students. Sheard is free on $75,000 bond.

“We will heal quickly,” said Hawkins this morning. “I’ll be the head coach for both the boys and girls teams and very excited about the opportunity. We will have a team meeting for parents and students on April 11th at Cedar Park and practice will start the second week of June.”