ABILENE – Jonathan Graschel was introduced Monday as the new head coach of the Abilene High boys’ cross country program.

Graschel joined the Abilene High staff prior to the 2020-21 school year as a science teacher. However, he spent the previous nine years as a teacher and coach at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. He has been a head cross country coach for six years at Santa Fe, and also served as a head soccer coach for seven years.

“I’m extremely excited to be working with these young men and look forward to the opportunity to help build the Abilene High program to an even higher level,” Graschel said. “I’ve seen what these athletes are capable of as summer workouts are already underway, and I see a lot of possibilities with this team. I’ve worked with many runners in my past but believe this group of kids is special and has the promise to do great things.”

Graschel graduated from Santa Fe High School in 2004 and then went on to Sam Houston State University where in 2011 he earned a bachelor of science in kinesiology with a minor in education. In addition to teaching and coaching at Santa Fe, Graschel has worked at both Huntsville High School and Scott Johnson Elementary School in the Huntsville ISD.

As a competitive runner he was a Junior Olympic finalist in the 1500 meters in 1999 and was captain of his high school soccer team in 2004. He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2004.

“Jonathan has a wealth of experience in the world of cross country, and I look forward to what he brings to our boys’ program,” Abilene High principal Emme Siburt said. “He’s already building a rapport with his team as they go through summer workouts, and that will only help them when they begin the 2021 season.”