October 4th, 2012

Hyland's Heroes: Mark Hubbs

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Mark Hubbs
photo from Mark Hubbs

Cross Country/Track coaching up to the standards set before him

The following feature is a part of a weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland, called "Hyland's Heroes" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Saint Leonard School may be small but it’s packed with big energy. Over a number of years their cross country (and track) teams were guided by Chuck Willinbrink, who is known to many. Now those big shoes have been filled by Mark Hubbs who is clearly aware of the high bar set before him - and he’s excited about the task.

Mark grew up in St. Martha parish and attended St. Xavier high school. He is married to Vivian Nicole and the father of two young daughters, Lucy Anne and Gabriella Nicole. The girls enjoy running and volleyball, while Mark likes tennis and water skiing. Right now, the family is fully vested in their school cross country team which participated in the CSAA championships this past week.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I began my involvement when my children got involved in cross country at St. Leonard.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved? 

The former cross country coach for St. Leonard was involved with his children in cross country & track. As his children moved into high school and mine where now involved at this level, my time was simply due to step up. 

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I began coaching cross country in 2011 and then track in 2012. I am in my second season of cross country now and look forward to more.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to these young student athletes? 

As is common in any act of giving, I receive far more than I give. I am fortunate to have the time with such a wonderful group of children. By coaching and having time with them in cross country and track, I am able to know these children in a special way and only grow in my fondness for them.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

I try to stay true to the tradition set by my predecessor Chuck Willenbrink.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?  

I like to keep cross country & track uncomplicated. This age is prime to encourage children to get out, be active, be involved, and try something new. I believe sports play an important role in the complete formation of children.

What does coaching bring to you, your family? 

It brings us closer to our parish community.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching? 

No one single event stands out. I enjoy every meet and competition, there is a unique air of excitement and I see the thrill on the children’s faces as they compete.


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