Homestead's sudden loss leaves huge hole to fill

April 28, 2009

The following quotes are posted on the late Homestead science teacher and track and cross country coach Andy Edington's Web site:

"Do not mistake familiarity with understanding."

"Never mistake activity for achievement."

The quotes, the first by American physicist Edward Teller and the second by legendary college basketball coach John Wooden, summed up Edington well.

He made himself familiar with new tasks and then understood what it took to do them well. Like when he showed colleague and coaching friend Dan Benson a computer breakdown he had made of one of his runner's races.

He worked hard and diligently, but always with a purpose. Like last summer, when he and his son, Sam, raked wood chips, brought in and moved tons of stone and improved the cross country trail behind the school.

He understood the humility that science, a discipline he dedicated his whole professional life too, teaches us everyday. That humility was something he used without a trace of self-consciousness when he didn't have an answer to something.

"His girl (Lauren Holtz) just ran this great 1,600 and she was going to double up in the 800," Bay distance coach Mike Miller said. "And he asked me how he should get her ready for it. He never let his ego get in the way. He just wanted what was best for his kid. To have someone I respect ask me something like that was a special moment for me."

A 24-year veteran at Homestead, Edington, 47, died while he was out training with the girls track team's distance runners April 25. He collapsed, suffered a seizure and did not respond to CPR or other emergency procedures. An autopsy was still pending as of April 27.

It's a huge loss, Homestead activities director Charlie Gross said.

"He had more than a few things going for him," Gross said. "He was highly organized, he paid attention to detail and he was meticulous in his planning. He could individualize the workouts and the training which created a connection with the girls. They took his direction and lived by it."

Services for Edington, who led the Homestead girls cross country team to a surprise eighth-place finish at state last fall, were April 29 at First Alliance Church in Germantown. Edington leaves behind wife Sue, and children, Sam, 14; Abby, 13; and Bethany, 11.

The situation is reminiscent of spring 2006 when Homestead basketball coach John Chekouras also collapsed on a run and later died.

Homestead principal Mark Roherty had the unenviable task of addressing each of Edington's classes April 27. A video tribute was played over morning announcements April 28, and the cross country and track teams are making plans to help the family. Edington's boss, head girls track coach John Krueger, will preside over a lot of this planning.

"Some things he did we took for granted," Krueger said. "We'll get people to run the workouts, but not fill in all the intangibles."

Homestead's staff and students will remember and then try to do things like Edington did: with understanding and a sense of accomplishment.

"Everyone says move on, but that's difficult to do," Benson said. "We've done it a couple of times before, but each time it happens, it just gets harder."

Steven L. Tietz can be reached at (262) 446-6619 or




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