La Salle-Peru superintendent Steve Wrobleski said there has been “a good amount of interest” in the school’s athletic director position.

But before L-P hires a new athletic director, Wrobleski wants to get the new principal hired first.

“The athletic director position closes at the end of the month,” Wrobleski said. “Right now, we’re in the process of interviewing principal candidates. Our goal is to get the principal hired first, then we want the principal to be directly involved in the oversight process for the athletic director.

“(The AD hiring) will be sometime in May whether it’s at the regular meeting or a special meeting.”

While the new principal will be overseeing the process, there will be input from a committee.

“We’ll get voices from coaches and activity coordinators as well as our students,” Wrobleski said. “That way, everyone can have an opportunity to help guide the principal, who will ultimately make the recommendation to my office.”

Wrobleski said the ideal candidate will have a coaching background and will be able to handle all the different duties of the position.

“First and foremost, we want someone who is student centered who has a solid background in athletics,” Wrobleski said. “In the job posting, one criteria is head coaching experience. We want someone who is going to be a strong support for the coaches, establish clear guidelines and expectations and make sure our coaches get the support and feedback that they need.

“Part of it is someone who has the ability to connect with the kids and connect with the parents. The athletic director wears so many hats. You’re a cheerleader. You’re also a person who has to say no. It has to be someone who can navigate all of those different terrains and do it with grace.”

Wrobleski said L-P also is looking for someone who will stick around after the school has gone through several athletic directors in recent years.

After Greg Sarver held the position from 2004-12, L-P has gone through D’Wayne Bates (2012-15), Randy Gunia (2015-16 school year), Chris Kirkpatrick (2016-17 school year) and Kevin Parker (2017-19).

“Absolutely,” Wrobleski said when asked if L-P is looking for someone who may provide some longevity to the position. “As long as we can find a person who meets the other criteria, we certainly want someone who is looking to establish some roots here in the Illinois Valley or someone who is already here in the Illinois Valley and wants to stay in the Illinois Valley.”

The athletic director job became available after Parker recently resigned.

“I would like to thank Superintendent Steve Wrobleski, Principal Stephanie Jeanblanc and the LaSalle-Peru High School BOE for giving me the opportunity to lead the Department of Athletics and Activities for the past two years,” Parker said. “I have very much enjoyed working with stakeholders in the district to create the best educational, athletic and activity experiences for the students of LPHS.”  

Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at sports@newstrib.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.

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