I went to a Christian school in Muskegon and was very involved in athletics. I played soccer, basketball, and baseball in high school and was also on the track team. I wanted to go to college somewhere faith-based where I could continue playing sports. I chose Liberty University and continued playing baseball and basketball at the collegiate level. While at Liberty, I got a job as the first student Strength and Conditioning Coach under David Williams. David went on the become a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Texas A&M, but even before his time at Liberty he was the Fitness Director of the Roanoke Athletic Club and worked for Deke Andrews. My senior year in college, Deke was hired as the Director of the Carter Athletic Center while the CAC was still under construction. Deke told David he was looking for a Fitness Director and David recommended me. I moved to Roanoke and started working at the CAC right after graduation. I met my wife, Wendy, three days after moving to Roanoke, we were engaged within a few months, and married the next May.
What was the dynamic between the CAC and school athletics back then?
Those were some great years in the school’s history. Deke was the Director of the CAC, Jim Moscaro was the Athletic Director, and Donna Satterwhite was the Assistant Athletic Director/Director of Girls Athletics. Through the years Donna really became a mentor to me, especially after Jim’s retirement and seeing her take on the role as Athletic Director. She was extremely dedicated to the school and the students. I soon stepped in as Assistant Athletic Director under her. She was a great teacher and a great example of what it is to be a good administrator.
Speaking of being a good administrator, what does it take to be a successful Athletic Director?
You have to make sure you don’t lose perspective and remind yourself that we are here to provide positive athletic opportunities to train and compete in an environment that allows students to achieve at the level they are comfortable with, all while teaching students valuable life skills focused on developing a strong character. The life skills that athletics teach are hard to learn in other venues. You have to learn to work together, get through adversity, and stand behind your teammates. To sum it up, we have to teach, and be good examples of, using the words in our new trophy case: preparation, accountability, teamwork, courage, character, leadership, and tradition.
You mentioned before that you have a strong faith, how does that play into your role at North Cross?
My faith always helps ground me and gives me my core values. I use that to guide me in my coaching and in my other responsibilities here. Keeping the development of our students in the forefront takes a lot of intentional effort and I think our kids reflect similar values every time they are on the field. If they don’t it requires us as teachers, coaches, parents, and role models to step in and help guide them.