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Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
AD turnover a concern locally, nationallySep 14, 2012
Valley Vista’s Brad Larremore isn’t just a first-year athletic director.
He’s also a teacher, teacher evaluator and assistant principal and is in charge of attendance, 12th grade discipline and the school’s Culture Club. Add in his responsibilities as an AD and you begin to understand why ADs don’t stick around for as long as they used to.
But besides the long workdays, there are other reasons why Arizona welcomed about 45 new high school athletic directors this year. A lot of former ADs retired, the No. 1 factor for the influx of new ADs, Arizona’s leaders in athletic administration said.
The new ADs represent about 15 percent of the state’s high school AD total, but leaders can’t remember the last time they saw this many new ADs.
Most of the rookies, including Larremore, were in Prescott this week, attending the Arizona Interscholastic Athletics Administrators Association’s annual convention. The rookies were networking and taking classes to earn one of the three certificates ADs can earn.
But when they returned to their schools, they returned to a demanding job that requires them to wear many hats.
“I knew that going in it would be time consuming,” Larremore said. “But I love it.
“I don’t get to sit back any moment of the day. I wrote a things-to-do list (Wednesday morning) and had 15 items, and No. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 were only athletic related.”
The demands placed on the new ADs is nothing new, said Ron Halbach, one of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s tournament directors.
Halbach served about 14 years as McClintock’s AD.
His long workdays also were filled with non-athletic duties when Halbach started working as an AD in 1989. He’s noticed that ADs nowadays are pursuing other high-ranking jobs in education more than before.
“Not as many people get the satisfaction from the (AD) job as much as they used to,” Halbach said.
When ADs move on, it creates a leadership void that’s difficult to fill because ADs juggle a lot of jobs.
When ADs depart, it also affects coaches, who tend to lean on their ADs for guidance. Amphitheater Public Schools district AD Joe Paddock has seen his share of ADs in the Tucson area retire recently.
“You need that continuity,” Paddock said. “They (ADs) know the ins and outs because they know so much about a lot of things.”
Athletic directors leaving their posts earlier than expected is a local as well as a national concern, said Scottsdale Notre Dame AD Monica Barrett, the AIAAA’s incoming president.
But despite the local and national AD turnover concerns, the workload continues to grow for athletic directors, Barrett added.
“I hope it (turnover) is not because the job is so stressful, but I will tell you it’s a job that you live 24-7,” Barrett said. “I think you need to educate people that ADs are truly very important administrators and need a lot of support.”