As New Albany High School's facility site manager last year, Crickett Anderson was just as likely to pop up at a football, basketball or soccer game as she was to be seen in her duties as boys track and field coach.

Anderson missed full-time administration so much that she is returning after more than a decade away to serve in the newly-created role of assistant athletics director. High school athletics director Richie Wildenhaus announced the hiring June 20.

Anderson, who coached track and field the past four years, begins her new job Aug. 1. She primarily will serve as middle school athletics director and provide other support for Wildenhaus.

"I see (administration) as basically being the conductor and orchestrating all the events," said Anderson, who was middle school athletics director from 2001-04 and has served as in-school suspension intervention specialist for more than a decade. "I love watching everything come to life after you put in all that work behind the scenes. I don't necessarily like being on the stage and getting accolades. The reward is seeing the athletes on their stage, performing and growing."

Anderson, who also is a certified substitute teacher, said she has worked in the school district for 17 years. A 1980 graduate of Dayton Stivers-Patterson, she ran at Grambling State.

Wildenhaus had wanted an assistant athletics director when he began working in the school district last year, and when the middle school athletics director role became a full-time position after this past school year, the school district decided to merge those roles. Wildenhaus saw Anderson as a natural fit.

"She doesn't do anything halfway," he said. "She's even expressed interest in being a head AD at some point. Her office will be right next door to me, so we can work together and bounce ideas off each other."

Anderson said she knew this would be her final season with the track and field team, but had planned to remain in her other jobs and pursue opportunities as a track official in order to remain close to that sport.

"Track is my first love, and I could have seen myself being an official for a while," Anderson said. "But I'm happy to step in (to administration) full-time."

Anderson ended her coaching tenure on a high note, as the Eagles celebrated five Division I state championships June 3 at Ohio State. Max Frye won titles in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, and Michael Fenster won the seated 100, 400 and 800 races.

Wimsatt steps down
as field hockey coach

Less than two months before the season, the field hockey team is searching for a coach as Nikki Wimsatt resigned June 20.

Wimsatt was 31-20-2 in three seasons with the Eagles. New Albany finished 11-6 last fall, losing to Bexley 4-0 in the second round of the district tournament.

According to Wildenhaus, Wimsatt stepped down to spend more time with her family.

The Eagles' season opener is Aug. 23 at home against Worthington Kilbourne.

"It was a bit surprising given the timing, but finding a coach now goes right to the top of the priority list," Wildenhaus said. "We're getting the word out there as fast as we can and trying to make a lot of contacts."

Applicants should contact Wildenhaus at wildenhaus.1@napls.us.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave