Servant Leadership: Aspiring Athletic Administrator Program Provides Coaches with Opportunities for Growth

By Dena Scott, CAA
Director of Athletics, Fort Bend ISD

As Athletic Administrators look to hire candidates who can hit the ground running in their departments as soon as they are hired, often times, there is no amount of experience or manual that can provide the necessary assistance to encompass all aspects of this profession. When I started eight years ago as an Assistant Athletic Director, I learned first-hand the meaning of this as I was assigned job roles that dealt with department budget, officials pay, several sports, athletic facilities, administrative duties and while at the same time managing the District Physical Education and Health department.  With each passing day, week and year, I amassed a wealth of knowledge as well as a mile long list of athletic administrator contacts who I would and still call to ask questions, share ideas, and just bounce ideas off one another.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was sitting in my office thinking what better way to provide coaches who aspire to be athletic administrators an opportunity to observe, listen and work alongside us to gain the knowledge and experience I wish I had prior my to first day on the job. The idea came to me in the form of a cohort where our coaches could meet with us once a month and hear from fellow area Athletic Administrators, shadow us at athletic events as site coordinators, and then work together on district athletic administrative projects all with the end goal in mind: preparing coaches for future athletic administrator roles.

At our first aspiring athletic administrative cohort meeting in October of 2019, the first guest speaker was Tim Martin, the Assistant Athletic Director in Alief ISD. He shared his inspiring story with us on how he went from coaching into athletic administration as well as what his role is as an Assistant AD. The agenda also provided a list of upcoming athletic events where coaches could sign up to gain hands on experience. We were looking to form smaller committees to work on projects for athletics and allowed those who were interested to work on those projects. Overall, it was a successful first meeting and as we continued, we fortunate to hear stories from Nicole Nelson (LCISD AD), Pat Dowling (Katy Asst. AD), and Cheryl Etlinger (Spring Branch Asst. AD).

Recently, we started up the cohort again and Deb Mize (FBISD Asst. AD) has taken the reigns and has been able to secure additional athletic administrative speakers, Andre Walker (HISD AD), Virginia Flores (Cy Fair Asst. AD) and  Jason Glenn (Klein ISD Director of Student Outreach) who all provide powerful messages to our coaches.

The cohort is averaging about 75 total members and has had an average of 45 attend each meeting since April. The feedback from the group and the speakers has been positive and attracted interest from surrounding districts.  As we continue to provide more opportunities for our coaches to gain knowledge and experience in our profession as athletic administrators, our hope is to continue to grow leaders as well as confident co-workers who can join our teams in making an immediate positive impact.

Congratulations to the TAAC Class of 2019

Congratulations to the inaugural class of 2019 for their completion of the Texas Athletic Administrators Certification! 

Region 1

Kenny Catney, Frenship ISD

Andrea Fluhman, Amarillo ISD

Dr. Justin Hefley, Amarillo ISD

Jimmy Johnson, Lubbock ISD

Duane Toliver, Brownfield ISD

Region 2

Bruce McCrary, Ector County ISD

Region 3

Walter Baber, Dallas ISD

Kevin Bachinkski, Uplift Education

Brent Barker, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD

Jody Berryhill, Pine Tree ISD

Clay Cody, Lewisville ISD

Greg Cranfill, Wills Point ISD

Chris Feris, Birdville ISD

Jennifer Frazier, McKinney ISD

Kimberly Garner, Allen ISD

Bryan Gerlich, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

Chance Gray, McKinney Christian Academy

Ralph Hinds, Plano ISD

Joel Johnson, Northwest ISD

Chivonne Kiser, Denton ISD

David Kuykendall, Frisco ISD

Lisa Langston, Fort Worth ISD

Cristie Liles, Lewisville ISD

Jerry Littlejohn, Frisco ISD

George Lutkenhaus, Northwest ISD

Veronica McEwing, Fort Worth ISD

Derrell Oliver, Richardson ISD

Eric Persyn, Keller ISD

Shawn Pratt, McKinney ISD

Jeff Smith, Prosper ISD

Todd Vesely, Fort Worth ISD

Jay Zeller, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

Region 4

James Nunn, Socorro ISD

Mike Peters, Fort Stockton ISD

Region 5

Mike Bass, Alvin ISD

Joseph Bowser, Beaumont ISD

Donna Branch, Pasadena ISD

Victor Cathey, ILT

Rodney Chant, Fort Bend ISD

Jeffrey Feller, Houston KIPP

Jimmy Grier, Clear Creek ISD

Ruperto Jaso, Pasadena ISD

Marla Lewis, Alief ISD

Bobby Locke, Goose Creek ISD

Tim Martin, Alief ISD

Scott Moehlig, Alief ISD

Dr. Bernie Mulvaney, Goose Creek ISD

Carla Newsom, Alvin ISD

Richard Page, Bryan ISD

Andre Walker, Houston ISD

Region 6

Chuck Griffin, Georgetown ISD

Lynn Pool, Austin ISD

Brad Shelton, Midway ISD

Chris Southard, College Station ISD

Denise Vanlandingham, Austin ISD

Region 7

Jacob Howell, Mercedes ISD

Esquivel Ortiz, LaJoya ISD

Margarito Requenez, LaJoya ISD

Region 8

Brian Clancy, San Antonio ISD

Michael Enriquez, Pettus ISD

Laura Garza, Edgewood ISD

Terry Gault, Boerne ISD

Tina Guerrero, Fort Sam Houston ISD

Kevin Higginbotham, Somerset ISD

Melanie Hinson, Southwest ISD

Armando Huerta, Odem-Edroy ISD

Kristin Libardoni, Northside ISD

Ron Lilie, Waelder ISD

Alturo Lozano IV, Three Rivers ISD

Stacey Moore, North East ISD

Ricky Smith, San Felipe Del Rio ISD

Timothy Woods, North East ISD


Judy Collins, McKinney Christian Academy

Les Davis, San Marcos Academy

Jake Wachsmuth, Shiner Catholic School


Johanna Denson, Assistant TAAC Coordinator