GLASGOW— After 25 years leading the boys and girls cross country teams at Glasgow High School, Rod Karst has decided to retire.
Karst finished his coaching career with seven girls team state championships, 15 combined boys and girls state trophies, 59 individual all-state runners and a 2022 Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame induction.
“I’m not big on individual honors,” said Karst. “It’s not why I did the coaching thing but it was a nice honor and I guess it was a big surprise.”
Karst has developed relationships with his athletes and treats them as if they were his own kids.
“The kids are like family, and they treat each other like family. It’s just a whole different atmosphere with cross kids,” said Karst.
With such a long successful career, Karst and his athletes have created and shared numerous memories that they will cherish forever. Every memory is special, especially when they are memories of being named state champions.
Karst says his favorite moment was winning their first state title in 2005. His team was not predicted to win but he felt that they could at least place in the top three.
“They started off with third place and it wasn’t us. They did second place and it wasn’t us … When they announced first place, they said Glasgow, and it was just silent. Then it struck us and it was a good feeling.”
Karst was prepared to retire after his 24th season, but he made the decision to come back after he was sidelined for a portion of it. Due to health issues, he had surgery on his foot and was unable to coach for a duration of time during the middle of the season.
It was then that he made the decision to rejoin the team and give it one more year.
Now that the end of the season has come, Karst is officially stepping away. He is going from a consistent schedule with daily practices to having more free time than he is used to.
“I’m not sure what I want to do when I grow up,” Karst said jokingly. “I do want to find something to keep me busy for the next few years.”