Crystal Lindsey is completing her first full season as head coach of the Kenwood Academy varsity track and field team.
Since joining the Lady Broncos back in August of 2019, Lindsey has produced a number of highlights as head coach.
During the 2020 Indoor Track season, Lindsey has helped Asia Thomas earn the #1 ranking in the state of Illinois for the indoor 60-meter dash and tie for the top spot in the 55-meters.
The Lady Broncos are also currently ranked in the top five in the city in both the 4×400 and 4×200 sprint relays, and the team also sports a top five overall ranking in the city.
With the indoor track season coming to an end in three weeks, Lindsey said she wants to close out her initial season at Kenwood by winning the city championship. But she said she won’t be satisfied with that; she wants a state title, too.
Lindsey said she has inherited several gifted runners. She pointed out that the team performed well, despite several injuries. “Ninety-eight percent of the team is committed," she said. "We're getting kids back from injuries, and through all of that, we ran well."
Since taking over the head coaching reins from Kenwood's legendary head track and field coach Phillip Wallace in the fall of 2019, Lindsey stated there's been a minor adjustment period for both her and the runners.
In addition to coaching, Lindsey said she loves teaching at Kenwood.
"I've been a teacher at Kenwood since the fall of 2016 .... It was interesting teaching (here at first) because I was like a rival in the building," said Lindsey, who used to coach at Westinghouse.
Lindsey thanks former Kenwood principal Dr. Gregory Jones for her teaching opportunity. She said when Dr. Jones was the former assistant principal at Westinghouse High School back in 2009, he gave her the opportunity to help build the Lady Warrior track team from the ground up.
Lindsey brought an impressive resume to Kenwood, starting with an outstanding track and field career at Morgan Park High School.
She was named a five event All-American Athlete in her senior season, when she scored a record-breaking 108 points at a track and field competition, dominated both the 100- and 300-meter hurdle races, was a member of the winning 4x200 meter relay, and won both the triple jump and the long jump.
As an athlete at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she earned All-Big Ten Conference honors for both indoor and outdoor track and field from 2000 to 2003.
Lindsey prides herself on using track and field as a teaching tool to help improve academic performance, behavior and discipline among the athletes she coaches.
Lindsey said the best advice she ever received was from her former track and field head coach, Derrick Calhoun of Morgan Park High School. She said Calhoun taught her the importance of putting athletes in a great position to succeed.
Lindsey also said she patterns her coaching style after Calhoun, who built a state track and field powerhouse back in the late ‘90s, leading the Mustangs to four State Championships.
With a focus and passion for coaching, Lindsey has placed a strong emphasis on the importance of goal setting, strategies, and leadership for her team.
Throughout her career, Lindsey has produced 10 all city athletes, 6 all-state athletes, built a young track and field program from the ground up, and helped develop two star runners in Tamia Mcnutt and Jamika Brown.
Mcnutt earned back-to-back all-city and all-state honors in 2016 and 2017. Brown also won all-city and all-state honors in 2017.
Prior to coming to Kenwood, Lindsey led Westinghouse to a Top 3 city ranking in 2015, and won Sectional Championships in 2016 and 2017.