The fall season brings a lot of excitement with another school year and the beginning of another school sports year. However, at Grand County High School and Grand School District key decision makers have deemed the position of high school athletic director to be non-essential. The decision to remove this position from the school and reassign certified athletic director Ron Dolphin to the middle school is a very uneducated decision by supposed educators.
The position of athletic director is the least understood position in a school district. This is because it is a behind the scenes position. It involves putting others in a position to succeed. Coaching all of the head coaches on what being an education-based leader really entails. The athletic director’s job doesn’t end at 3:30. The other half of their work day starts at 3:30pm.
The biggest department in any school isn’t the math, science, social studies, or English department. It is the athletic department that has twenty plus coaches/advisors, and in some cases over one hundred assistant coaches. It is also the department that doesn’t shut down in May. It continues through the summer.
For many years Grand County High School and the Moab community has been blessed to have one of the best, most respected athletic directors, not only in the state of Utah, but in the United States. He has served as the Utah association president and received national recognition for his service. Ask anyone who has served in this position what they think about your school district’s decision and they shake their head in baffled amazement. They will say that your student participants are the big losers in this decision. The position of AD is growing in importance nationwide. More districts are realizing the importance of the position and hiring a district AD (see nearby Carbon district). An increased number of schools are creating positions for full-time AD positions because of the increased importance and to safeguard against litigation for negligence.
Some of the most impressionable students in our buildings are the ones involved in athletics and activities. These individuals often go on to be great leaders in our society. Those who lead them have to be coached, guided, and trained by a competent athletic director. Ron has been that exemplary leader who has put his coaches in a position to have positive influence. His leadership has minimized problems. It’s been said that a certified athletic director is a great insurance policy for a school and school district. Ron has been that insurance policy for many years. Now you have a certified person who is not able to use twenty-plus years of training, knowledge and intelligence. You have no one to anchor the biggest department in your school. We hope that pride doesn’t prevent Grand County School District decision makers from righting an obvious wrong.
Catham Beer and the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Board of Directors