Elizabeth Clapacs, who was recently hired as the Wellington School's athletics director, is not about status quo. Clapacs believes she is taking over the 156-student school's athletic program during a period of growth.
"I'm thrilled about the opportunity and I'm looking forward to becoming more entrenched in athletics at Wellington and connecting more with our school community," said Clapacs, who has been the girls lacrosse coach for the past two years.
"I'm extremely excited about the energy and professionalism that Liz has already brought to the school," Wellington Head of School Robert Brisk said. "Liz's powers of organization, effectiveness and discipline were fully apparent to the team, the athletic office and those who followed the team's progress over the past two years."
Clapacs replaces former athletics director Max Ness, who resigned last June after leading the programs for the last four years.
Clapacs compiled a 25-10-1 record the last two seasons as the girls lacrosse coach. Last spring the Jaguars finished 15-4-1 overall and advanced to a Division II state semifinal for the second time in program history. Clapacs also served as an assistant coach for the girls basketball team last winter.
Before becoming athletics director, Clapacs was the executive director of JD Breast Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization, and started the Elevation Holistic Health Corporation.
Clapacs played soccer and basketball at Denison University.
She believes her background as a coach and as an athlete will help her as an athletics director.
"Becoming an athletic director is something that's always been in the back of my mind," Clapacs said. "The whole dynamic of sports is something I am incredibly passionate about.
"I'm still pretty new to Wellington so I have some fresh ideas, but I'm familiar enough with the school to understand the challenges of coaches, parents and students."
Wellington has experienced a lot of change over the last four years. The school installed an artificial turf field for its lacrosse and soccer programs, which allowed the school to play host to postseason tournaments.
Clapacs said she would like to see "more sustainability" among the school's junior varsity programs and Wellington become more involved in leagues.
One of the things that helped the girls lacrosse team last season was the creation of the Central Independent League. In the inaugural season of the league last year, the Jaguars finished second with a 5-1 record, behind Columbus Academy (6-0).
With the exception of girls lacrosse and girls golf, the Jaguars compete as an independent. That status can create a scheduling nightmare. When events are postponed, teams reschedule their league games first and often postpone games with Wellington.
"I'd really like to see the school to get involved with a league," she said. "It gives our teams more motivation when they are competing for a league title and gives our athletes more of an opportunity to be recognized (for post-season honors). Wellington is embracing change and thrusting things forward. I think we're poised for growth right now."
Elizabeth Clapacs has been named athletics director at Wellington. She has spent the last two seasons as the school's girls lacrosse coach.