Cougar athletic director stepping down

Sometimes the proverbial plate just gets a little too full.

Central Kitsap’s Mark Ward is finding that out.

That’s why the school’s athletic director, track coach and teacher has decided to take off one of his many hats — athletic director.

Ward, who has been the AD at Central Kitsap for the past two years, said with his time split between family, teaching, coaching and taking care of administrative athletic duties, something had to give. Unfortunately, Ward felt it was his teaching that had taken the brunt of the timeshare load.

“You look at the schedule here with teaching and being athletic director, then throw coaching in as well, something suffers,” Ward said. “Unfortunately, it was the teaching part. When you go home not feeling good about your job, things need to change.”

The decision was a fairly simple one, Ward said, since he knew he would have no problem allotting time for family and did not want to cease coaching or teaching.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I’ve been keeping my eye on the master teaching schedule board to see what I’ll be teaching. Since I’ve only been AD for two years, it shouldn’t be that big a deal. It’ll be nice to use summer to rejuice the batteries.”

Teaching just three hours a day, Ward said he didn’t like the feeling of seeing so many faces he didn’t know the names to in CK’s halls. He’s looking forward to reestablishing a strong connection with his students.

“One obviously is being a better teacher,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know more kids.”

Ward, whose father was Olympia High School’s athletic director for 16 years, said it was a good opportunity for him to experience high school athletics at the administrative level firsthand.

“Because of the situation I was in growing up, I think I knew a little more about it than the average bear, the average AD,” Ward said. “At the same time, there are things you don’t know until you sit in that chair.”

Making the transition easier for Ward will be the fact he’ll still be at the school.

“It’s been a pleasure for two years working with our administration an coaching staff,” Ward said. “The nice thing is, I’m not leaving.”

The school will begin the search for a new athletic director from within the building, Ward said. If no one is interested, it will then be open to outside applicants.

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