Andrew Straus Head Coach

Hey there!  I’m Coach Andrew, Head Coach at Newhart Middle School for the 2020-2021 season.  This is my 2nd season coaching with WeROCK and, after such an interesting first year, I had to come back for more.  I love coaching and spending time with these amazing kiddos.  Getting to know each of these kids, learning what they’re about and helping them see and achieve their goals is what I enjoy most about being part of the program.  Last year’s virtual marathon was my first ever and I hope that this year’s race can be in person with all of the fanfare we all deserve.

What’s my history with WeROCK?

My son, Brian, ran as a first-timer / 8th grader two years ago.  Before starting with WeROCK, he had never run farther than the PE mile and never considered himself a runner.  Only a few months into the season, his PE mile times went sub-7, then sub-6.  He was getting recognized by his peers as a runner and his self-esteem skyrocketed.  I tried to come to as many Saturday practices and races as possible, getting to know the other runners so I could cheer them on and watch their transformations, as well.  When the season was over, I knew that I wanted to offer my time to coach and be around these kids next year, even though my own child wouldn’t be part of the program.  I want to continue giving back to future groups of runners what the coaches gave to my son.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
I was never really a big runner when I joined WeROCK.  I’d run a couple of half marathons a decade earlier but stayed active playing basketball and hiking.  But, now that I went through last season, I proudly hang my bibs and race medals and consider myself a full-fledged member of the running community.  Marathon number 1 was virtual, so I’m still looking forward to that feeling of crossing the finish line at the OC Marathon this year.

Favorite WeROCK race
I really loved the Citrus Heritage half marathon.  I was really happy with my time this past year so that’s a part of the reason but, besides that, it’s really cool going through the orange groves and there was some lady passing out donuts from her front lawn along the last 2 mile home stretch.  It’s also a huge step up for the kids when their previous longest race to that point was a 10K so it seemed like everyone left feeling pumped up and prepared for the 2nd half of the season and all the miles that laid ahead.