Coach Mike Sullivan
Now in his 11th year as head coach of the Skyhawks' cross-country program, Mike Sullivan of Dixon continues to build a powerhouse running program at Sauk with more than 30 years of cross-country coaching experience to his credit.
As head cross-country coach at Sterling High School from 1971 to 1997 and again in 2001, Sullivan led his teams to six conference championships, two regional titles, one sectional title, a 8th place finish in state in 1984 and a 10th place finish in state in 1979.
One of his coaching philosophies is to bring athletes along at their own pace and ability to help avoid injury and discouragement.
Sullivan says this philosophy has worked well for him coaching in his eight years at Sauk where he has had 35 Skyhawks qualify and compete in NJCAA national meets.
Sullivan, who retired from SHS in 2002 as a full-time instructor, served as athletic director from 1997 to 1999 and taught cooperative work training from 1999 to 2002. He was also an instructor of auto mechanics and cooperative work training at the Whiteside Area Career Center from 1968 to 1996. Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education from Southern Illinois University.
Assistant Coach Mitch Saad
In his first season as the assistant coach of the Skyhawks’ cross country team, Mitch Saad of Sterling looks to incorporate his athletic and coaching experience into the already successful running program. After competing in track and field for NCAA Div. III Greenville College, Saad has coached track and field at the high school level for four seasons, taking several athletes to the state meet. He looks forward applying his understanding of running to Sauk Valley’s cross country program and increasing his knowledge of the sport.
Saad is a 2004 graduate of Erie High School, a 2008 graduate of Greenville College with a B.S. in Accounting and a B.S. in Business Management, and a 2009 graduate of John Brown University with an M.A. in Youth and Family Ministry. He is currently the Director of Youth Ministries at New Life Lutheran Church in Sterling. From 2010-2012 he coached track and field at Dunlap High School in Peoria before moving to Sterling and coaching at Rock Falls High School.