BY JEFF FALK
Can an athletic director make a school district’s overall athletic program better? That answer lies somewhere between a definitive ‘yes’ and a definitive ‘no’.
But if the past has taught us anything, clearly he or she can. What remains unclear is exactly how it all works, how it all shakes out.
The Cornwall-Lebanon School District and Cedar Crest High School’s new man for that job is Chris Groff.
In May, Groff’s recommendation as the Falcons’ next athletic director was approved by Cornwall-Lebanon’s board of education. He’ll officially take the reigns on July 1st.
Cedar Crest’s opening was created by the retirement of assistant principal Ed Felty and the promotion of former AD Rob Snyder to Felty’s duties.
“The biggest thing I can do is learn abour our coaches,” said Groff. “My biggest challenge is: ‘How can I help them do their jobs better?’ ‘How can I remove obstacles to make their jobs easier?’ Coaching is difficult enough, and it’s difficult for school districts to keep good coaches.
“Right now, I’m going to start small,” continued Groff. “I want to learn as much as I can and evaluate. For me, it’s about continuing improvement. I don’t have those larger goals. I can’t serve our athletes and coaches until I know them better.”
Except for a few minor exceptions, the Cedar Crest athletic program overall is in very good shape. In part, Groff’s job is to maintain the status quo, and tweak and fine tune where necessary.
“I think we’re in great shape,” said Groff. “I want to take time with our coaches and talk. We have many, many good people involved here. I don’t measure success by wins and losses. I’m really about the process. We’re teaching the right things. We’re going to give kids crucial experiences which will help them down the line. And we’re not going to stop trying to improve.
“In terms of the process, I saw the position posted, and it was certainly a position I was interested in,” Groff continued. “So I gave it a shot. I love Cedar Crest athletics. This position gives me an opportunity to be involved. Sports has always been in my blood. Now I get an opportunity to step into a larger role.”