Kristi Creegan does not stand out when she enters a room.
Short of stature and humble by nature, Creegan prefers to remain in the background and avoid the glare of spotlights and lenses, yet she has been an integral part of the lives of the student athletes of Dawson County for over a decade.
“It’s a little bit weird, I mean its really nice, but I don’t know if I want to or should be the spotlight of an article,” Creegan said. “The greatest thing I’ve gotten out of this is these families that I have become part of, and their kids are part of me now. The limelight, or whatever, is not important.”
Creegan has been chasing her dream of becoming an athletic trainer and personal coach since the age of 16 when she founded her first park and rec level team, and over the course of the last few years her story has taken a strange series of turns all focused on bringing her to this place in her life.
“When I first started out, the only way into coaching was through teaching,” Creegan said. “Teaching was not really my thing, and I found myself not enjoying it. I decided it was time for a move.”
After a brief stint in North Carolina, Creegan came to Dawson County in 2007 and took a job with the Parks and Recreation department while, at the same time, founding her personal training business Active Fitness focused on providing individualized training to male and female adult athletes.
A few months into her time at Park and Rec, the Athletic Director position came open and, encouraged by co-workers and friends Creegan applied for and got the job.
“I kind of just fell into the job,” Creegan said. “I don’t do anything halfway, so I soon found myself working 10,12,15 hours a day and I didn’t have time for much else, much less pursuing a business.”
Four years after taking the job, Creegan stepped down to focus on building and running Active Fitness, and with the creation of her first Dawson Tigers basketball team in 2012 she began to form the basis of an influential coaching career.
This year alone Creegan has been part of the coaching staff of four of the most prominent athletes in DCHS history, remarkably, across four different disciplines… Anna Lowe in track and field, Frankie Muldoon in cross-country, Maggie Schandera in softball and Kaylee Sticker in basketball.
“One thing my dad taught me, we were very close, you’re not there to coach, you’re teaching them to be a better person,” Creegan said. “You want to be the best version of yourself, and you want them to be the best version of themselves.”
“All these kids, I love that they’re having success, but I am just one small part of that,” Creegan said. “For me, I don’t care if anybody knows, I just enjoy seeing them be successful.”
Her rise to prominence in the community was solidified in 2015 when she was approached by newly installed DCHS coach Tonya Porter for help in building a Lady Tigers volleyball team. Creegan immediately offered not only her time, but to donate all the proceeds back into the program in an effort to jumpstart the team.
“I think I kept just enough to put gas in the car,” Creegan said. “The rest I put back into the team because in the beginning they just didn’t have the money.”
Now entering their fourth season the Lady Tigers are a perennial playoff contender in region 7-AAA and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the GHSA playoffs in their third year on the court and at least one member of the team has been coached by Creegan for over a decade.
“Chloe Bennett, for instance, I picked her up in the third grade,” Creegan said. “I have been coaching her since the third grade and now her love is volleyball.”
Having finally found her place in life, Creegan is excited to be a part of the community and a part of so many lives, but her biggest take away from the years has been the impact the people she has met have had on her and not the other way around.
“As long as you are giving it your all, and your doing the right thing, it doesn’t matter what it is you do,” Creegan said. “Trying to tell these kids that, it really flipped, and they have made me the best version of me that I can be.”