Abilene ISD Executive Director of Athletics Jim Garfield announced Thursday that Kayla Cunnings has been named the next head coach for the Abilene High School boys cross country program.

Prior to joining AISD, Cunnings served as the head coach for boys and girls cross country and girls track and field at Lake Worth High School in Lake Worth ISD. Her seven-year coaching and teaching career also includes serving as the head girls track and field coach at Rider High School in Wichita Falls ISD and as the assistant track and field coach for Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove ISD. In each of her coaching positions, Cunnings has led her athletes to qualify for regional competition.

“I am extremely excited to be the head boys cross country coach for Abilene High,” Cunnings said. “I am familiar with the winning culture that AISD exudes and have seen what the team is capable of during summer workouts. I look forward to bringing my passion and energy to the program.”

In addition to her coaching experience and success, Cunnings is an accomplished classroom teacher. Certified to teach English and advanced placement literature and composition, Cunnings has taught multiple levels of secondary English courses and has a track record of helping students increase standardized testing scores in literary and writing subjects. 

Cunnings earned a bachelor’s degree from McMurry University in 2017 and completed her student teaching in Abilene. She was named the McMurry Secondary Student Teacher of the Year in 2017.