SALEM- The school board Friday made several personnel moves in the athletic department including a new director and familiar faces in girls basketball and cross country programs.
The board accepted the resignation of Greg Steffey as athletic director effective June 30 and hired Todd Huda to the position on a two-year, 240-day contract effective July 1 at a salary of $73,000.
A veteran teacher and coach, Huda has been with the district for 11 years where he has taught at Reilly Elementary and most recently the junior high. He will assume his position immediately so he can address the responsibilities that continue throughout the summer.
Schools Superintendent Tom Bratten said in a written release that Huda's reputation in the school and community made him a perfect fit to replace Steffey.
"Todd has proven to be a very successful coach, an outstanding teacher, and is very well respected throughout the community and I am positive he will do a tremendous job for us and our student-athletes," Bratten said. "Todd is nothing but a class act and will be amazing in my opinion."
Under the supervision of Steffey the past 11 years the athletic program has celebrated two state championships in men's cross country (2004, 2005); two state championships in women's cross country (2005, 2006); one state runner-up in men's track (2007); one third-place finish in men's cross country (2003); one sixth-place finish in women's cross country (2007); one sixth-place finish in men's track (2008); one final-four appearance in women's basketball (2004); one final-four appearance in volleyball (2008); the first-ever appearance in state football playoffs and first-ever victory in state football playoffs (2009); and two individual state track champions (Patrick Gorby, 800m run, 2007; and Anthony Shivers, discus, 2012). Additionally, the men's basketball team in 2006 advanced to the regional tournament for the first time since 1976. The women's golf team also set a school record for victories in 2012.
Bratten said that while Steffey may not have been directly responsible for the accomplishments, he oversaw the hiring of coaches, equipping of teams and scheduling of events in an era of unparalleled athletic accomplishments at Salem.
"I cannot thank Greg enough for all of the long hours he has put in with our coaches, our parents and our student athletes," Bratten said. "Greg has had a challenging job that is often in the public eye and we are so grateful that he put so much into doing this job for us for so long. I am grateful that he will continue to be a valuable member of our team on our teaching staff where he received many honors in the classroom at Perry prior to his becoming an athletic director in Salem."
Steffey will continue with the district as a history teacher at the senior and junior high school level, which he taught for several years at Perry Local Schools prior to his time at Salem.
In other business the board hired two new varsity girls basketball coaches with ties to the Salem program- longtime coaches Steve Stewart and Roger Zeigler. Stewart will be taking over the Lady Quakers program as head coach while Zeigler will join him as an assistant.
Zeigler was an assistant women's coach in 1988 before helming the program from 1989 until 2000 when he turned it over to top assistant Stewart. Zeigler's 1994 team was the first Salem women's team in school history to advance to the state final four. Stewart also led the program to a state final four in 2004.
The board also hired former track and cross country coaches Frank and Yvonne Parks as the new cross country head coach and assistant, respectively.
Frank Parks was head cross country coach from 1985 through 2002 and head track coach from 1993 through 2003. From 1991 to 1993 his men's team finished second, third and first place, respectively, in the state meet. His women's teams, while never taking first place at state, finished fifth (1998), fourth (1989 and 1996) and third (1997) in the OHSAA championship meets. Yvonne Parks was his longtime assistant in cross country and served head women's track coach from 1986 through 2003.
Additionally the board approved athletic supplemental contracts for the 2013-2014 school year pending BCI/FBI background checks for Debbie Thomas, varsity cheerleading; Kari Newburn, freshman cheerleading; Athena Spinell, high school cheerleading; Hank Brock, fall weight room supervisor; Kaylin McCue, junior varsity volleyball; Sarah Hamilton, ninth-grade volleyball; Leah Perry, eighth-grade volleyball; Kylie Wolfgang, seventh-grade volleyball; George Morris, volunteer boys golf; Walt Kruegel, volunteer assistant varsity football; Chelsea Green, girls soccer; Sarah Hamilton, junior varsity girls basketball; Ron Johnson, weight room supervisor; and Dave Stratton, junior high faculty manager.
Kevin Howell can be reached at email@example.com