After six years as athletics director at Dublin Jerome High School, Ryan Walker will take the same position at Marysville, pending school board approval.
Walker, who said he wanted to work closer to his home in Marysville, would replace Staci Hahn. She announced in March that she would step down and return to Florida at the end of the school year.
“I’d like to think that I’ve made a good mark (at Jerome),” Walker said. “We’ve done a lot of good things since I’ve been here. The expectations are always going to be high in Dublin and at Jerome, so I feel good that we made a lot of progress that Nick (Magistrale) started. I’m pretty happy about what I’ve accomplished and what we’ve accomplished.”
Walker started at Jerome after Magistrale took the same position at Dublin Scioto in 2011. Magistrale was the first athletics director at Jerome, which opened in 2004.
Under Walker, Jerome captured 51 OCC titles, 18 district championships, 14 state titles and four regional championships.
“I’m indebted to Ryan,” football coach Bob Gecewich said. “He wasn’t afraid to take a chance and stick his neck out despite naysayers when he gave me my first opportunity at a head-coaching position. He’s been extremely supportive of all athletics and gets the important role athletics play in an academic setting.
“He’s an advocate for coaches and he’s constantly seeking ways to push growth across the board. It’s a huge loss to Jerome, but this is a great opportunity for him and he’ll do extremely well at Marysville.”
Walker, 38, was an assistant principal and athletics director at Franklin Heights from 2008-11. He is a 1997 graduate of Newark and a 2001 graduate of Wittenberg University.
“It was a really hard decision,” Walker said of leaving Jerome. “I wasn't expecting it or looking for it, but I feel good about it now. It was very hard to leave the people here, but it’s one of those things when a situation comes along it starts to look more attractive the more I think about it.”
Walker said he will continue the process of hiring a new boys basketball coach for Jerome after Jamie Pearson stepped down last month following four seasons.
Walker said Jerome also is looking for a new wrestling coach after the resignation of Josh Conn following one season.
Hahn was hired at Marysville in June 2015. She replaced Joe Bline, who held the position for four years.