Steve Glesenkamp completed a lengthy homecoming of sorts when he was named athletics director at Delaware Hayes High School on June 25.
Glesenkamp is a 1974 Hayes graduate who spent the past 31 years at Big Walnut, including the past 23 as athletics director.
"I have lived in Delaware my entire life and this is a great opportunity for me because it is a very attractive position," Glesenkamp said. "I think Delaware Hayes is on the move. It's a growing district with large potential and I love the people they have in place -- from the superintendent (Paul Craft) to the leadership team (principal Ric Stranges and assistant principal Rex Reeder) and the top-notch coaches they have in place."
Glesenkamp replaces Clint Fetty, who informed school officials on May 20 that he had accepted the athletics director position at Ravenna after spending four years at Delaware. Fetty was in charge during the planning stages of some vital upgrades that Glesenkamp said will be impressive.
"The facility upgrades that will be taking place will be fantastic for us," Glesenkamp said. "There's a new track and synthetic turf football field, plus we're rebuilding and moving the tennis courts and making upgrades to the softball field and weight room. The track and turf field will be the centerpiece of outdoor sports. The field can be used for practices in the spring for several sports. In addition to the coaches we have in place, we've got a full-time strength and conditioning coach and that's important for common training because our sports programs will be sharing athletes."
Sharing athletes is just one piece important to Glesenkamp's overall goal.
"My motto is going to be 'the power of one,'" he said. "We've got 26 varsity programs, but they're all part of one big team -- Delaware Hayes. It's very important to focus and improve each student-athlete in each sport and we will be sharing athletes and supporting one another.
"Hayes has had some pockets of success, but we want to see the improvement across the board, from a holistic standpoint."
Glesenkamp, who earned an undergraduate degree from Ohio State and his master's in sports science from Ashland, had plenty of success at Big Walnut. During his tenure as athletics director, Big Walnut won a combined 79 league championships.
He hopes to build those expectations at Hayes and strengthen community relationships.
"I would like to work closely with Ohio Wesleyan, the YMCA and other organizations," he said. "With a new turf field, we can be involved with community activities -- like being the starting and ending points in walks and runs and just things like that. We would like to be a focal point of the community."
Three fall sports will be guided by new coaches.
Mike Golden was hired Jan. 24 as football coach. He replaced Zebb Schroeder, who took the same position at Olentangy Orange.
Josh Diehl will take over the boys soccer program from Nate Weakland and Erica Backhurst will coach girls tennis after Bob Claymier stepped down.