Licking County News

Rose named Watkins Memorial's athletics director

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Former Newark High School football and track and field standout Adam Rose was named athletics director at Watkins Memorial during the latest school board meeting June 19.

He replaces John McGiffin, who had held the position since 2003, but his contract was not renewed.

"Watkins is a great school system and I feel blessed to have been selected for the position," said Rose, who served as athletics director at Dresden Tri-Valley the past five years. "I think there is a fine group of coaches already in place and the school gets strong support from a nice community."

Rose graduated from Newark in 1993 and from Bowling Green State University in 1998. He earned his bachelor of science in education from Bowling Green and his master's in educational leadership from Ashland in 2009.

After teaching physical education at Licking Heights in 1999-2000, Rose spent the next nine years at Newark, where he was an assistant coach in football and track before becoming athletics director at Tri-Valley.

Rose, a member of the Newark Hall of Fame, was all-state in football as a senior in 1992 and won Division I state championships in the shot put in 1992 and 1993.

At Bowling Green, Rose was a two-time MAC champion in the shot put. He also set the Falcons' indoor and outdoor shot put records.

As an offensive line coach and strength coach at Newark, Rose was instrumental in the Wildcats' back-to-back OCC championships in 2004 and 2005. The team snapped a 30-year playoff drought in 2005.

Rose, who officially starts work Aug. 1, will make an annual salary of $76,127 and received a two-year contract. He was one of more than 45 applicants. A committee of coaches, administrators and community members oversaw the search process, according to principal Ben Richards, who said seven candidates were interviewed.

Rose, who lives in Newark, will have a shorter commute to work.

"The proximity is definitely an advantage," he said. "The first of things on my to-do list is to hire a (girls) volleyball coach. Our former coach (Amber Harris) took a teaching job at Bloom-Carroll, I've been told. So we have it posted and I'm reaching out to all of the ex-coaches and the (athletics directors) that I know to see what's out there."

The girls volleyball team finished 6-16 overall and 5-13 (tied for seventh) in the LCL last fall in Harris' lone season.

One other coaching change for the fall already has been made.

Kaylee Phillips, a 2007 Watkins Memorial graduate, will take over as girls soccer coach for Alex Stout. Last season, she was an assistant to Stout, who stepped down because he and his wife are expecting their first child.

Phillips was a record-setting striker for the Warriors. She became the fourth girl and fifth player overall in the Central District to reach 100 goals, finishing her career with 103. She was the first player in Licking County to reach 100.

"I have always loved this community and now I have the chance to coach in the program that gave me so much," Phillips said.

As a senior, Phillips scored 28 goals and was named ThisWeek's Player of the Year in Licking County.

She played for the University of North Carolina-Charlotte as a freshman before deciding she wanted to be closer to home. She transferred to Capital, where she graduated in 2012.

"We have some awesome talent in the program with a good core of seniors, a huge sophomore class and some juniors and freshmen sprinkled in there," said Phillips, who also coached girls basketball in the middle school last season. "We've got good leaders in every position and the strength of the team could be the girls' knowledge of the game."

The Warriors finished 10-4-3 overall last season. They went 5-0-1 in the LCL to share the title with Granville.

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