The athletics department at Upper Arlington High School will be undergoing a temporary change in personnel in the coming days.

The athletics department at Upper Arlington High School will be undergoing a temporary change in personnel in the coming days.

After Friday, Chris Potts will step away from his duties as athletics director -- a position he has occupied for six years -- for the 2009-10 school year to serve as the school district's director of business services, a position held by Paul Craft, an Army reservist who has been deployed to Washington, D.C., for a year. In August 2010, both Craft and Potts will return to their respective positions.

Beginning Monday, Greg Sullivan will serve as interim athletics director. Starting Jan. 1, the position will be shared by Sullivan and Michael Schaefer.

"It's a great opportunity," said Potts, 33, who holds a business manager's license as well as master's degrees in sport management and educational administration. "It gives me more experience in another of operating a district. I still love being athletics director and it's something I will deeply miss, but I wanted to help the district and diversify myself. I'm excited to fill the shoes for a year of Paul Craft, who I think has done a great job for the district."

"Chris is interested in business management," principal Kip Greenhill said. "It's an opportunity for him to gain experience, and he's ready. (Naming Potts as Craft's replacement) was the superintendent (Jeff Weaver's) call, but I encouraged and supported Chris in making that move. When he returns to being athletics director, he'll be better prepared. He'll have much more experience in business affairs."

Although on sabbatical until January, Sullivan is a full-time faculty member at Otterbein College, where he teaches sport management. He was recognized as Otterbein Teacher of the Year in 2006.

"Otterbein is very, very supportive of projects like this, opportunities like this," he said. "They could not have been more receptive."

Sullivan, 49, began teaching at Otterbein six years ago after earning a doctorate in sport management from Ohio State. Before that, he worked 20 years on Wall Street in commodity trading and finance. That followed a two-year stint as an assistant men's basketball coach at Brooklyn (N.Y.) College, his alma mater. A Brooklyn native, he led the Kingsmen to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 1982.

Sullivan resides in Upper Arlington with his wife, Sharon, and their three sons, Chris, Kevin and Brian, each of whom has attended UA. Chris graduated in 2007 and Kevin graduated last spring. Brian will be a junior.

"I'm very excited for a number of reasons," Sullivan said. "It's a great opportunity for me to give something back. My sons have had a great experience as UA athletes. And I teach sport management at Otterbein and this opportunity allows me to bridge the gap between theory and practice in business management. I will have some of my students come and intern here to get some experience."

Schaefer, 30, has taught in the district the last eight years and serves as head of the wellness department at the high school, teaching fitness, health and weightlifting classes. He is entering his seventh season as an assistant for the varsity football team, working primarily with the linebackers, tight ends and offensive linemen.

Schaefer also has served as a baseball coach at UA. During the 2005 season, he was promoted from junior varsity coach to interim varsity coach. He went back to coaching junior varsity the next year and spent last season at Hastings Middle School.

For now, he is stepping away from coaching baseball.

"I'm very excited," Schaefer said. "It's a great way to get experience in an athletic administrative role. This experience will set me up well to be an AD. That's my long-term plan. It's something I've always wanted to do. I have a master's in administration, a good sports background and I pride myself in being well-organized. I thought it would take longer to get this opportunity. It's a fantastic opportunity. I feel that this is the best district in Ohio. I can't ask for a better opportunity than this."

Sullivan and Schaefer have been working closely with Potts since last spring to help ease the transition. Both have sat in on meetings regarding the OCC, scheduling of events and hiring officials for those events and interviews with perspective candidates for coaching vacancies, including baseball, girls soccer and girls volleyball.

"Spending time with Chris helped me understand the nuts and bolts of running an athletics department," Sullivan said.

"It was an opportunity to get some experience," Schaefer said. "Every day is a learning process."

If any questions arise along the way, Schaefer said it's reassuring to know that Potts "is just a phone call away."

"I don't want to look over their shoulders, but if they have a question, I'll be there for them," Potts said. "It'll be a challenge for them, but I'm confident they'll do great things for the programs and the student athletes."