Ed note: We are pleased to have “Bo”, a man with many hats, answer some questions for llhoops. Bo has been very supportive of LLhoops. We think it’s always good to get some input from the folks who help behind the scenes issues. Enjoy!
1) Can you give our followers a brief background of your career?
I will be entering my 30th year at ELCO. I spent 10 years as a special education teacher in the Middle School. I currently teach Driver Education along with my Athletic Director Duties. This will be my 23rd year as the Director of Athletic at ELCO. Before becoming an AD, I also serves as an assistant football coach (10 years), Assistant Basketball Coach (3 years), and JH Track & Field Coach (7 years).
I was the vice president and president of the Lancaster-Lebanon League for many years and also served as the League Track & Field Chairman for 5 years.
I have served on the District 3 Committee for 18 years. This is my first year as the chairman. I have been the District 3 Tennis Chairman for Boys and Girls for 12 years and Co-Bowling Chairman for 8 years.
2) How do you balance your time between working as AD of ELCO, District 3, and a father?
I actually love what I do and I have a passion for Athletic Administration. My first priority is to serve the ELCO School District first but I always allocate some time daily to complete District 3 duties. ELCO has been very supportive of my positions with the League and District 3 throughout my career and I am thankful for their support.
My family is awesome and they support me in all that I do. My wife Stephanie also works in the ELCO School District in the Technology Department and she is very supportive in my career at ELCO. I live within the ELCO School District and that is a huge bonus since I am very close to the school. My oldest son Brett graduated from ELCO in 2017 and my youngest son Braden is a junior. Both Brett and Braden were and are involved with athletics and they attended many games as they grew up in the ELCO District. I rarely miss any of my children’s athletic events.
3) What’s the biggest challenges facing District 3/PIAA?
One of the major issues in all sports in Pennsylvania is the lack of officials and the sportsmanship at many of the games. I understand the passion of spectators, but to scream and berate officials, coaches, and players does not have any place in interscholastic athletics. Spectators need to cheer for their team and not against the opponent or officials. Positive behavior would make all the games better for everyone.
The other huge issue is the decline in attendance at athletic events which effects the financial picture of the District and the PIAA. District 3 is moving in the direction to play the majority of the playoff contests at the higher seed which will increase attendance and save money. Years ago, we did not have all the sports and playoff games that we do today and with so many different opportunities for our student-athletes, people are pulled in so many directions which I believe diminish the attendance at our playoff games.
4) The LL is going thru some new times with a new director (Ron Kennedy) and some growth with new schools coming in to the league. What do you foresee in the next 5 years for the LL?
Dr. Ronald Kennedy will be a huge asset to the league and is a tremendous leader. He is a very close friend of mine and our careers have been very similar and he has a great vision on what he wants this league to become and how to make it better. I think Dr. Kennedy will move our league in a positive direction and he will have a lot of support from the athletic directors and the board of control. He is a great people-person and works very hard and is a great listener and creates a positive atmosphere. I’m excited to watch him in this position, and I think he will do a great job.
5) As a parent of an athlete and AD at the same school, are there pressures from other parents for input on the programs? If so, how do you deal with them?
I have never felt negative pressure from other parents that I treat one program different then any other. I have always been fair and consistent with all of our programs. I am a huge fan for all of our programs.
6) What does success look like to you as AD for your sports programs?
Wins and losses are important at the high school level, but the most important thing in scholastic athletics is that coaches create lasting relationships with their athletes and teach them life-long lessons. People will forget the wins and losses as the years go by but building positive relationships will last a lifetime. It is always rewarding when an athlete returns and is excited to see and talk with their former coaches. That is what it is all about.
Bonus: What’s the best part of your position(s)?
The best part of being an Athletic Director is that I have a job of being around athletics which is my passion in life. As a young boy, I loved playing all kinds of sports and that love has never stopped. The awesome thing about athletics is that people involved are so passionate about coaching, administration and working with young people. I have met so many positive people in the business of athletics and have made so many great friends, built so many relationships and connections through this awesome profession.