Girls track coach reflects on 40 years of coaching


Coach Zaranek with runner Devon Krasner ’19. Photo courtesy of Zaranek.

Ryan Caldwell '21, Staff Writer

Girls Track Coach Stephen Zaranek has been a staple in not only girls track and gym class, but in the South athletic community for the last 40 years. His outgoing personality makes him well-liked among his student athletes and his coaching peers.

Zaranek was hired to be the head coach of the first official girls track team for South in 1980. According to Zaranek, his prior coaches taught him many skills that pushed him to be a coach later on.

“I started running in junior high and continued in high school because of (my)  coach. I then ran in college at Wayne State University,” Zaranek said. “I had really good coaches my whole career who taught me how to be a good runner but also a good person.”

Zaranek  never coached girls prior to his involvement with the team and said he was nervous at first, and he made many mistakes that he learned from.

“Coaching girls was a whole different experience for me, there were times where I didn’t get the reaction I was expecting. I would get tears instead of laughter and it was very interesting in learning to interact with high school girls,” Zaranek said.

Zaranek talked about former runners Hannah and Haley Meier ’13, who set many records at South. The Meier sisters  recently helped Michigan win their third straight Big Ten title and finish fourth in the NCAA Division 1 Championships.

“The Meiers set all kinds of records, state and nationwide, they didn’t just run fast. They also embodied the type of student athlete we want at Grosse Pointe South,”Zaranek said.

Along with the Meiers, Zaranek believes and trusts in all of his student athletes to be the best they can be and to truly represent Grosse Pointe South.