When John Cook resigned as Edison High School's head track coach last fall, the school found itself in an unusual situation - it was a track power with no one to coach the team.
In his 10 years as coach, Cook had piloted Edison to an indoor state track title in 1976, an outdoor state track title in 1973, three regional indoor titles, four regional outdoor titles, six district indoor titles and eight district outdoor titles.
The problem was compounded by the fact that Don Seemuller, Cook's assistant for eight years, had resigned during the summer.
So who's coaching Edison's indoor track powerhouse this year? Cook and Seemuller. Actually, that should be Seemuller and Cook, since the former is now the head coach and the latter is the assistant.
The switch occurred, and the vacancies were filled, when Seemuller agreed to take over the logistics of Edison's track program - particularly the budget - which was one of the major reasons Cook resigned.
Although his teams lost few important meets, Cook said he "had a hard time fathoming the fact that sometimes we had to lose.
"I had pretty much coached myself into a corner. I couldn't take losing any more. It was starting to wear on me and my family. I had to put things into perspective.
"In addition to the pressures I put on myself, I had the logistical and administrative work that I didn't feel I wanted to do anymore," he said.
We didn't get the support we should have from the athletic department. There were equipment, logistical and communication problems and maybe some of them were my fault. Since I stepped down, things are getting better. People communicate well with Donnie. He's getting things things done."
A major accomplishment so far for Seemuller, he and Cook agree, has been getting a budget approved.
"This is the first year we've submitted a budget and they (the athletic department) have actually followed it," says Seemuller, who was asked to take over when Cook resigned. "I took them that one of the stipulations was that they follow the budget. I guess since they needed a coach, they decided to do it.
"In the past when we'd go to the athletic department and say we needed something, they'd say they were out of money. Last year, some of our pole vaulters had to buy their own poles ($80 to $110 each)."
Seemuller asked for "not more than $2,000" for this year's cross-country and indoor and outdoor track programs. The money covers equipment, travel and uniforms, he said.
Edison's indoor team this year is headed by All-America runner Chuck Wimberley plus Richard Lee, Bobby Harrison, Dan Mazo and Lance Cole - all cross-country runners in the fall. Seemuller cites jumpers as his "only real weak spot," since all of his prospects are young.
In other area sports news:
MADISON HIGH SCHOOL - Following a 69-50 drubbing in basketball by Marshall early last week, Madison (5-4) hardly seemed ready for Langley (7-2), which had scored more points (528) than any team in the Great Falls district. But last Friday, Madison built a 10-point, half-time lead and hung on for a 59-56 upset victory.
MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL - The Statesmen (4-2) are the surprise of the Great Falls district on the basis of the 69-50 win over Madison and a 54-47 defeat of McLean last week.
Offensively, Marshall relies on hustle and the shooting of 6-1 senior Mark Martino, who is averaging 16.6 points a game. On defense, Tim Kearny, a 6-7 sophomore who got a chance to start when pivot man Jim Owens was injured just before the holidays, has 12 blocked shots in two games.
Kearny's older brother, Steve, who graduated from Marshall two years ago and attended a junior college in Florida last year, is now being red-shirted by Virginia Polytechnic Institute where he has a full scholarship. Steve now stands an even 7 feet.