South’s cross country teams are coached by the Herbers
Not only are Kevin and Lisa Herber currently coaching South’s cross country teams, they’ll do the same thing for the Redwings track and field program in the spring. And in the winter, they’ve been coaches for their girls in youth basketball.
“We just can’t get away from each other,” she said.
They were even both phy-ed teachers – albeit at different schools – when they first met at a district meeting.
Kevin (South Class of ’94) and Lisa (Lutheran ’97) got married in 2006 – one year after she began coaching cross country at North and one year before he started there.
“The guy had coached for like 25 years and he was retiring,” Lisa said. “He wanted somebody who he knew he could trust to take over the program. So I said, ‘well, Kevin’s a really good basketball and tennis coach. I think he can probably do cross country, too.’ So he just kind of slid in with virtually no experience except watching what I was doing.”
They coached the Golden Raiders together for a few years until Lisa left after the birth of their second child.
Kevin stayed at North until 2017, took the following season off and was hired at South in 2019.
Another coach then retired, so Kevin thought it would be fun to work with his wife again and asked if she was interested.
“At first,” Kevin said, “it was ‘yes, but … ‘
“It’s a big commitment with having kids and trying to get them to their activities and then ultimately we just decided that would be a rare opportunity, one that we didn’t want to pass up. So we decided to go for it, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
And who happens to be the better coach?
“Lisa, by far,” Kevin said. “She has a track and more of a running background. So I think it comes a little more natural to her. I was more of a team sport coach. So I learned a lot from her. She gave me a lot of her materials, so really it was me just kind of adapting to what she had given me, researching on my own, and blending it all together. But ultimately, if I have a question, I go to her.”
Lisa immediately says she would answer differently because they have a good mix. She is more technical and says Kevin is a motivator who knows how to talk to athletes in ways to get them thinking.
“I’m not really like that,” Lisa said. “I’m more of the ‘this is how you do it, this is how it gets done.'”