The Southwest Licking school board on July 19 voted 5-0 to hire Adam Rose as Watkins Memorial High School's new athletics director.
"Mr. Rose is a Newark High School graduate who has been the athletics director at Tri-Valley High School for the past five years," said Ben Richards, Watkins Memorial principal.
"He's a former state champion and a strong leader with impeccable recommendations and qualifications. Additionally, he has his administrative license."
Richards said approximately 50 people applied for the position and eight were interviewed. He said those interviewed all had previous experience as athletics directors.
"We had some really outstanding candidates," he said.
Richards said when he called Tri-Valley's principal for a reference, the principal said, "I really didn't want to lose him."
Richards said he took that as an excellent recommendation.
"(Rose) definitely comes with that," Richards said.
Richards said Rose is a Newark graduate who considers himself "a Licking County guy" and he really wanted to work in Licking County. The Tri-Valley district is in Muskingum County.
"I think he understands (Licking County) and our tradition, as well," Richards said. "He's committed to the community and to the Watkins Memorial athletics program."
Treasurer Richard Jones said Rose would earn $76,127 annually as a base salary on a two-year contract.
"In reference to his benefits, I do not have a value because I don't know which insurance option he will choose," Jones said.
Richards said Rose's official starting date would be Aug. 1, but the school board granted him five paid days this summer so he can familiarize himself with Watkins Memorial.
Richards said Rose already has used those days and continues to return to Watkins throughout the summer.
"It's a great school district and a great community," Rose said. "It's one that has a reputation of having great coaches and great student athletes.
"I'm just excited to be a part of it."
Rose replaces former Watkins athletics director John McGiffin, whose contract the board did not renew at the end of the school year.
"We just wanted to be able to go in a new direction with our athletics program," Richards said.
McGiffin was athletics director for roughly 11 years.