It would have taken a lucrative opportunity for Bo Hanson to leave the only school district in which he has ever worked.

That opportunity arose when Pickerington High School Central found itself searching for a new athletics director.

Hanson, who has worked in the Lakewood district for 29 years, including the past 10 as athletics director, was named to that position at Central on June 11. He replaces Scott Barrett, who resigned in May after four years to return to teaching.

"The Pickerington Central athletics director position is probably the pinnacle in this job in central Ohio right now," Hanson said. "This is a huge opportunity, a great opportunity. I was definitely interested when (the job came open). I am not sure you could get a better spot.

"I'm eager to get going and see what the first day holds in store. It's crazy that this is happening, but it's going to be awesome being a part of the community."

Central is coming off a year in which the football, girls basketball and boys track and field teams all won Division I state championships. In addition, the boys basketball team won a regional title before falling in a state semifinal.

Hanson also will oversee the athletics department at Ridgeview Junior High School.

A 1984 graduate of Thornville Sheridan, Hanson has worked at Lakewood since 1989. He began as a fourth-grade teacher and taught seventh-grade math for 15 years before taking over as athletics director in 2008 for Don Thorp, who has 970 career wins in 45 seasons as Lakewood's baseball coach.

Hanson also coached junior high football, girls basketball and boys golf and was an assistant coach for the Lancers' perennially successful softball team.

Among his achievements as athletics director was overseeing the renovation of the school's stadium, including the installation of artificial turf, a new press box and a new track.

"His ability to get things done was definitely something we liked," said Mark Aprile, the Pickerington school district's Director of Student Activities who added that Hanson emerged from a field of nine finalists. "Everyone I spoke to said Bo's chemistry with the people he works with, his integrity and work ethic are outstanding. Everything kept pointing in his direction."

Barrett will be teaching physical education this fall at Central.

Central also is seeking an assistant athletics director after Barry Niemeyer submitted his resignation June 11. Niemeyer is stepping down for family-related reasons.

Hanson said he expects to dive full-bore into his duties at Central by the end of the month.

"The thing that's most appealing (about being an athletics director) is when you walk through that door in the morning, that day is never the same as the previous day," he said. "There is no daily routine. You never know what is going to happen."

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave