OP/ED

A NEW ATHLETIC DIRECTOR RICHMOND HIGH SCHOOL….AGAIN?

Well, we got the news (“officially”) Tuesday that Greg Roach decided not to come to Richmond to be the new AD. His tenure as AD is now the shortest in the history of RHS and maybe the shortest of any high school…ever!!

The rumors were flying that Roach was not coming (after telling everyone he was excited to be here) for a while now, but we had to wait until all the t’s were crossed and the i’s were dotted before the news broke.

Are you shocked?  I can’t say I was. I was a little surprised though. It’s rare someone accepts a high profile position, tells everyone how excited they are to be here and then “poof”….he’s not coming.

I am not sure what was going through Roach’s mind, but what he did was very unprofessional and when we look back at his decision, it was perhaps for the best.

You see, being and AD takes someone who is willing to put in a ton of hours, “odd” hours…kind of like being a sports reporter or sports announcer. You work when the student-athletes are available or when they are performing….not generally when we would like them to be. You get there early and leave late. Many times they are the ones who shut off the lights after sporting events.

You also have to deal with people including coaches, athletes, parents, officials, administrators and fans.

Some people aren’t cut out to be Athletic Directors. Roach claimed he was. He wanted to be a part of Richmond’s rich sports tradition. Apparently not!

I didn’t know Mr. Roach. Something scared him off. Perhaps he wasn’t up for the challenge. Maybe he deemed Richmond was too much work. We may never know.

Now we put that challenge into the lap of Warren Cook. Some of you know Warren. He was an assistant football coach under Richard Bryant for four years before taking over the New Castle football program. In Tuesday’s press release,  Cook let people know he is happy to return: “The best four years of my career were at Richmond High School,” Cook said. “Richmond is a special place and it is full of great people and wonderful leadership. I am excited to work with the student-athletes, coaches, staff, the community of Richmond and the incredible fan base to build on past success and create a shared vision for the future of Richmond Red Devil Athletics. I can’t wait to get back.”  I hope so. Richmond needs stability and they need it now.

Warren was a relentless worker during the four years he was here. He was an advocate of getting student-athletes in the weight room and challenged then on and off the field. He is also a very personable person. The kind of guy who you like being around. I doubt very much he has changed over the years.

I know Warren will expect the best out of everyone to make Richmond’s athletic programs a success. It will take a lot of hard work…from top to bottom and I believe he will be up for the challenge.

I know there are people wondering “why” that revolving door keeps turning at Richmond. Circumstances lately have been beyond Richmond’s control. That includes AD Larry Cochran, football coach Tony Lewis and baseball coach Shawn Turner. Larry has family issues and needed to be closer to his home in Evansville. Coach Lewis didn’t want to leave but an opening came up closer to Evansville and his family. Coach Turner also returned closer to Terre Haute after several years of traveling back and forth. His wife was unable to gain suitable employment here in Richmond. It’s hard to argue with those circumstances and believe me, Richmond wanted to keep all of them.

Others have decided not to return to coaching for other reasons. It’s the nature of the beast in high school these days. Long hours and little pay will never be a good formula to keep coaches around for an extended period of time.

No, it’s not the same as it used to be and never will be. The revolving door may slow down a little if Richmond can get stability in the athletic department.

I believe Warren Cook will be the person for the job. It won’t happen overnight. Give him a chance to get in here and get things going. Who knows, Roach deciding NOT to take the job could be a blessing in disguise!