Paul Dwyer hopes to maintain the Gahanna Christian Academy's commitment to excellence in athletics and expand on future opportunities.

Dwyer will have double duty at the school as he has taken over the athletics director duties and will serve as a vice principal under principal Scottie Crites.

Dwyer, 53, replaces Sharon Annis, who previously held both roles. Annis is teaching physical education at Worthington Christian.

Dwyer has a wealth of experience, but this will be his first job as an AD. He is a 1973 graduate of Franklin High School in southwestern Ohio and graduated from Miami University in 1980 with a degree in comprehensive social studies.

He has been a teacher for the past 28 years, with the majority coming at Washington Court House. He joined the Gahanna Christian staff as a full-time teacher last year.

"When he moved up here to the Columbus area two, three years ago, he came in here and wanted to do some substituting and had a good experience," Crites said. "The kids loved him."

At Washington Court House, Dwyer was introduced to administrative athletics as he served as an assistant athletics director.

"I got a little bit of a taste of it at that particular time and I thought this isn't that bad," Dwyer said. "I never really thought about being the head guy. It was always nice to be an assistant. You could pass the buck on, now I guess the buck stops here."

Dwyer also has taught at Polaris Christian and Horizon Science. He is familiar with Gahanna Christian as he previously served as a substitute teacher and also filled in for Annis when she temporarily left the position for family reasons.

"This is a great staff here," Dwyer said. "I subbed here three years ago when we first moved to Columbus from Washington Court House. The people made you feel so welcomed. That's why when I got the opportunity to come back last year I jumped at that opportunity."

Dwyer has coached football, track and field and boys and girls basketball at the varsity and junior varsity levels. He has been an assistant with the Columbus Crusaders football program.

"Sharon did a really good job of getting everything started, so I'm just trying to come in and continue what she's doing," Dwyer said. "Obviously, you can always look to try and make your program as good as it can possibly be. That's what I've talked to our coaches about. They're great people and I'm really excited about the future as far as Gahanna Christian athletics."

"I know that Paul wants to add some more sports," Crites said. "Talking with Paul, you can get more credibility to the program. He wants to build it to new heights for us because this is all new. I feel really excited about having him here."

Nate Kirk coaches the volleyball team, one of two fall sports at the school. Brandon McCoy leads the soccer team.

"I think we'll have a good relationship," Kirk said of Dwyer. "He's been a coach himself for 28 or 29 years so he understands what coaches have to do. He's going to be really good support for us."

At a glance

Below are the coming schedules for the Gahanna Christian soccer and volleyball teams:

SOCCER

*Last Tuesday -- Played Grove City Christian

Today -- At Torah Academy

Tuesday -- Home vs. East

VOLLEYBALL

*Last Tuesday -- Played Grove City Christian

*Today -- Home vs. Fairfield Christian

*MOCAL contest