THSADA Spotlight: Bob DeJonge
Wow, I can’t believe another school year has already begun! As I begin my 34th year in education I can tell you that each new year brings the same level of excitement that I experienced way back in 1981. My teaching and coaching career started in Texarkana as a middle school coach. In 1983 I took a job at Liberty Eylau High School coaching football and track and teaching various science classes. In 1991 our family moved to Keller where we have been ever since. I worked for several years as a football and track coach and in 2000 moved into my current role as the Director of Athletics. During my time in Keller we have grown from a one high school town to four 5A high schools and six middle schools serving over 7,000 student athletes.
I think all of us in this profession are lifetime learners. Over the course of my career I’ve evolved from focusing on the X’s and O’s of sports to the relationships that coaches and AD’s need to have with our stakeholders. I truly believe that the very best AD’s and the most successful coaches are also the best communicators. We have to build trust and have a rapport with our peers, our communities and all of the athletes we represent. That being said the most important thing we can do as an athletic director is to hire people that are successful at communicating with all three groups. Hiring is an imperfect science but when we do it right our kids are the beneficiaries and that is what it’s all about!
I’ve been a member of our organization for 13 years now and I am just amazed at the growth we have experienced over the last few years. Our progress has everything to do with establishing a vision and a direction for the association. The establishment of the Executive Directors office, the focus on providing professional development opportunities for athletic administrators in all classifications and the marketing element we have added all have contributed to the ever increasing health of THSADA.
I am thrilled to be part of our organization and excited about the challenges this new year will bring.
Best of luck to all of you!