PROSPER — Prosper High School announced the signing of the new cross country and track/field coach, Jennifer Gegogeine.

Gegogeine joins the Prosper family after working for College Park High School in The Woodlands where she was the head girls cross country and track coach and an English teacher. She will resume the same job here in Prosper, teaching English IV at the high school.

Gegogeine has spent time in many places across the country. Born in Pennsylvania, she moved to Indiana until she graduated from college. She attended Purdue University for a couple of years before transferring to Ball State to obtain her sports management degree. She landed a job working for the Houston Rockets basketball organization after graduation, but after working in sales for a few years, she said she found a new calling: teaching.

“I decided to shift my career in a new direction and received my teaching certificate through alternative certification,” she said in an email. “I started teaching in 2002 and never looked back.”

Since her certification, Gegogeine has taught a variety of grades, starting with second grade and working her way into junior high and high school athletics. Her first head coaching job was at Magnolia West High School in Magnolia.

As an athlete, Gegogeine said she dabbled in a variety of sports, including gymnastics, softball and basketball, until she “accidentally” fell in love with running in the seventh grade.

“I competed in cross country and track all through high school,” she said. “I competed in my first half marathon in eighth grade and my first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, my sophomore year in college.”

During her college tenure, she started a running club at a summer camp her freshman year which she said was her inspiration to get into coaching.

“Working with the kids at camp was rewarding and definitely helped me decide that coaching is something that I really enjoyed doing. (But) it wasn’t until the Houston Comets put on a coaching clinic for high school coaches that I truly decided that coaching was going to be my future.”

Aside from coaching, Gegogeine says she enjoys spending time with her family, and her hobbies include anything outdoors, including camping floating the river, tubing, running and shopping.

She is excited to be joining the Prosper community, and even more excited to get more involved with the running programs. Since here arrival, she has been working with the teams to prepare for the upcoming season, including two cross country camps and weekly practices at 6:30 a.m. She has high expectations for the teams, both on the courses and in the community.

“My goal is to not only make the kids better runners but better people as well. We will focus on character, work ethic, and team unity. … My goal is that track will compete in several running and field events at the state meet.”