Pompei adds girls cross-country coach to list of responsibilities at St. Francis High

Coach Phil Pompei will be pulling double duty at St. Francis High in the fall.

The school announced this month that Pompei, the Lancers’ boys cross-country coach since 2013, also will take over the girls squad next season. He replaces longtime girls coach Roberta Chisam, who is retiring at the end of this school year and moving out of the area, according to St. Francis officials.

“I am thrilled to be stepping into this new role in our cross-country program,” Pompei said in a press release issued by the school May 16. “It absolutely feels like the right decision at the right time. Coach Chisam has done an outstanding job of developing our girls program, and I look forward to carrying her legacy forward. Both programs have a rich tradition of forming champions and leaders alongside one another, and I am confident in the coming years we will be even better together.”

Also the co-head coach of the track and field team, Pompei is a 2008 graduate of St. Francis who competed on the cross-country, soccer and track teams. The Los Altos native was named the Central Coast Section Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior.

Pompei went on to run cross-country and track at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He returned to St. Francis in 2013 as a coach, religion teacher and campus minister.

“We could not be more pleased that coach Pompei has agreed to step up and take over the role of both programs,” said Michael Pilawski, the Lancers’ director of athletics. “Coach is a great Holy Cross educator and we are excited to unify our programs under his leadership.”

Pilawski also praised Chisam for serving as “a role model for all of us.”

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