It is the job of Athletic Director that I want to focus on today, not the athletic Director himself. The days are long gone where Trigg County has just the three sports of football, basketball and baseball. Long gone also are the days where just males compete in high school sports. The job of being an athletic director in today’s world is truly a time consuming, all encompassing potential life swallowing job if done right. Despite all that, it is only a part time job in the Trigg County School system. I for one am here to tell you that in my humble opinion it is as full time a job as any in our system. The only thing that is not full time is the pay. Needless to say, many may interpret this philosophy differently and I understand that.
Let me interject here that our new AD had nothing to do with this column. I am also definitely not criticizing our board of education or anyone else. I am just saying that the job of AD is tough and demanding. There are schools around the state that are going to full time Athletic Directors. I think it is time for Trigg County to be progressive and do the same in order to provide the best extra-curricular programs possible as well as keep up with all the requirements that are expected out of an AD in today’s world.
Hopefully after reading the first paragraph you now understand the title better. Sometimes the LIFE of an athletic director shrinks as the job consumes them. Let me just go over some of the responsibilities of today’s athletic director.
The AD must oversee booster clubs and attempt to bring in their club’s money under the auspice of the school even if it remains in a separate account. “The left hand must know what the right hand is doing.”
Out of the 18 athletic teams our school has, two for sure and maybe as many as four will actually bring in more money than they spend. Remember all teams require uniforms, equipment and travel to name just name a few expenses. Yet despite this, the AD will be expected to finish in the black. I am not a Harvard business major but I just don’t see how this is possible while relying mostly on gate receipts from our athletic contests.
The AD must monitor all coaches and make sure they have met all requirements. Each coach must be CPR certified, First Aide Certified, Heat Safety Certified and have attended a Sports Medicine Seminar every two years.
The AD must sign off on contracts totaling tens of thousands of dollars as our athletic teams commit to play opponents all over the Bluegrass.
Trigg County High School has had a drug testing policy in place for years for its athletes. The AD must make sure this is done on a routine basis.
The AD must make sure grade reports are done weekly to check the eligibility of hundreds of athletes. Coaches must be notified of all those athletes ineligible for participation.
The AD must work closely with the school system to monitor the safety, maintenance, upkeep, improvement and functionality of all the school’s athletic facilities.
Today’s AD is inevitably thrust into the role of fundraiser. Without the support of the community Trigg County High School COULD NOT have all the programs we do now. Our programs would only be a skeleton of what they are now without the money that flows from our community. Therefore the AD needs to lead in a few major county wide athletic fundraisers. If you don’t think our community is hit hard, do a short interview with Chappell Allen, Mallory Lawrence, Todd King or John Vinson. These are just a few of the business that are hit every week for contributions to athletics.
The AD is the leader in forming committees and hiring the coaches that will lead all Trigg County Athletic Programs. This more than anything probably determines the future direction in which programs head.
As in any job the KHSAA requires more paperwork than ever from an AD. Every athlete must have a physical before he or she ever steps foot on a practice field or court. Not keeping PERFECT records of these opens up a school to a major lawsuit. The paperwork is probably 20 fold what it was 10 years ago.
The AD is often a go between for parents and coaches. In this day and age it is unheard of for an AD to go a year without setting down with parents in multiple sports to hear their concerns over programs their children are involved in.
The AD is the face of the athletic program. He will constantly have the opportunity to speak for and to Wildcat Nation.
The AD must oversee the scheduling of all athletic facilities for practices and games. He must also oversee the coaches’ game schedules for each sport to see that they meet the competitive needs for each team and offer the possibilities for gate revenue.
At Trigg County the athletic director today will oversee the following sports.
FALL- Football, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Boys Cross-Country, Girls Cross-Country, Boys Golf, Girls Golf.
WINTER- Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Wrestling, Powerlifting.
SPRING-Boys Track, Girls Track, Baseball, Softball.
SPORTS TO MOST LIEKLY BE ADDED UNDER KHSAA UMBRELLA-Archery and Fishing. If you are keeping score at home that makes 20 athletic teams that the AD must oversee.
This is without a doubt the toughest job for an AD. The AD will be expected to be at a large percentage of the home contests for the 20 sports listed above. He will have to help set up the facilities, greet the officials, monitor everything about the contest and sort of close the event down. This can make for countless nights spent watching games from August through June. When I say watching games I mean for hours at a time. All AD’s cholesterol levels should be checked before taking the job and then again one year later. The purpose of this would be to measure the effect that ballgame hot dogs have on one’s cholesterol level.
The AD must see that boys and girls athletes are granted the same opportunities throughout the athletic program. Not only must the AD do this, he must also compare every aspect of the boys and girls programs and report this yearly to the KHSAA in an annual Title 9 audit.
The AD is a tire dealer’s best friend. Not only is he expected to be at home games, but many times the AD will need to be at away games. When a problem arises at an away contest, the first questioned asked is where is your AD? There are also meetings to attend throughout the year. Excessive travel can bite into one’s AD pay rather quickly.
There are many more things an AD does but I think by now you probably get my point. If you take a close look at what an AD does, what keeps the position from being a full time job? The only answer I can come up with is tradition. While the number of administration jobs has multiplied tremendously over the last decades with the addition of assistants to nearly everybody, the AD is still part time. I simply suggest we take a look at this.
OT: Correction to last week’s column. Little League football is actually available for Kindergarten students in Trigg County. Tackle football starts in the 3rd grade.
Double OT: I think that in the Ladd family …..if it isn’t tackle then it isn’t football.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.