Engaged track coaches are in it for the long run

Philip Simmons High School girls’ track and field coach Emma Santor was searching for a high jump coach.
 
She ended up finding the love of her life.
 
That high jump coach and the love of her life happens to be Philip Simmons boys track and field coach Ryan McCauley.
 
The couple recently traveled to Europe on spring break for a romantic getaway, and on April 3, the day after Santor’s birthday, McCauley popped the question in Paris, and she said yes.
 
“It was amazing,” Santor said. “We had the best time, the best food, and the best views. It’s a very romantic city, very romantic. We had some long dinners and great memories.”
 
The couple hasn’t set a wedding date yet. Santor and McCauley just want to make it through track season, which ends next month with the state championships.
 
Santor, who is a special education teacher, and McCauley, who teaches business and marketing, often arrive at the school at 7:30 a.m. and head home around 6:30 p.m. during track season.
 
The two met at Philip Simmons about three years ago, not through track, however. Eventually, Santor needed a high jump coach and learned that McCauley was a high jumper in the eighth grade when he lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
 
“He took me up on it,” Santor recalled. “He was assistant boys’ track coach at the time.”
 
When McCauley finally asked Santor out for a date, she was hesitant because she didn’t know if it would be a good idea to date a fellow teacher.
 
Santor discussed it with her mother, Michelle, who just happens to assist her with the girls’ track team. Her mother responded by asking, “How many times has a nice guy asked you out to dinner?”
 
The rest is history.
 
McCauley had a game plan for the trip to Paris. He wanted the proposal to be a surprise and yet have pictures for posterity. The couple toured the City of Light and arrived at the Eiffel Tower, where he proposed.
 
While Santor was hesitant to date McCauley at first, the couple has been overwhelmed by the support of the Philip Simmons community. One student even set up a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of an engagement ring.
 
“Oh my gosh, the kids were so excited when they found out. Some of them said, ‘We’re almost adults. Can we come to the wedding?’ All along, they were rooting for this.”
 
It’s a far cry from the days when McCauley didn’t even know who Santor was.
 
“It was kind of crazy,” McCauley said. “I would see her walking down the hall. I didn’t know she knew track.”
 
The couple have long days during the sports season. When they get home, they debrief about that day’s practice or track meet.
 
“I would say Ryan is the better coach,” Santor said. “He has experience and knows what the kids need to work on. He’s helped me grow as a coach as well.”
 

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