Meeker takes over at Liberty
Having been approved by the school board on June 20, Darin Meeker is ready to hit the ground running as the athletics director at Olentangy Liberty High School and Hyatt and Liberty middle schools.
"It is going to be a very short summer for me," said Meeker, who will oversee the high school's 28 varsity sports. "It's important for us to get off to a fast start. I'm looking forward to meeting all of the coaches and all of the staff at (the three schools).
"I've always had a genuine passion for the holistic development of student-athletes. This was a great opportunity to utilize my skills at a different level."
Meeker replaces Tom Gerhardt, who resigned in April after serving as the high school's athletics director for nine years. Gerhardt had held the position since the high school opened in the fall of 2003.
A Powell resident for the last nine years, Meeker had been serving as associate director of student-athlete support services at Ohio State since 1993.
A 1989 graduate of Ohio University, he played football for the Bobcats as a linebacker and received a bachelor's degree in psychology. He went on to earn master's degrees in sports psychology and counselor education from Ohio State and became a licensed counselor.
Meeker is co-author of the book "Positive Transitions for Student Athletes: Life Skills for Transition in Sport, College & Career." The book, which provides information and step-by-step exercises to help student-athletes succeed in college and make a successful transition to life after college, was published in 2000.
According to Mark Raiff, the high school's executive director of academics, more than 75 applications for the position were received. Raiff and high school principal Randy Wright interviewed 15 candidates and recommended three candidates to meet with a search committee. Each of those candidates gave a presentation to a panel of administrators, coaches, booster club representatives and parents. At the recommendation of Raiff and Wright, two candidates, including Meeker, were interviewed by superintendent Wade Lucas.
"I think he has the personal qualities and characteristics to provide the leadership necessary for our coaches," Raiff said of Meeker. "He has a background in budget management. He has the appropriate balance between academic, athletic and personal development that is going to foster growth in student-athletes."
Meeker believes the 18 years he spent at Ohio State have prepared him for the job.
"I have a lot of experience interacting, not only with the athletic side of the house, but I have a tremendous amount of experience working with the academic side," he said. "I'm looking forward to being part of a team that can take students to the next level."
Meeker and his wife, June, have three children: Nate, a sophomore at Liberty High School; Noah, an eighth-grader at Liberty Middle School; and Noelle, a fifth-grader at Tyler Run Elementary School.