It’s a job that can be obscure at best, or thankless at worst.
Mike Butler understands that.
‘It’s the kind of job that nobody realizes what you do until something goes wrong,’ said VCHS’s longtime girls basketball coach of being an athletic director.
Butler speaks from experience, as he was the AD at Hardin Calhoun High School in western Illinois for four years prior to coming to Vandalia 22 years ago.
Still, he didn’t hesitate to express interest in taking over the open AD spot at VCHS when Superintendent Rich Well mentioned that Brian Kern would likely be vacating the post to concentrate on his assistant principal duties.
‘This is something I’d done in the past, and I was interested,’ Butler said.
‘I enjoyed doing it before. You’re involved with all the sports programs at the school. I enjoyed working with officials and all the other AD’s. It just gets you move involved.’
Butler admits his second AD stint will be much different than his first.
‘When I did it before, everything was done with telephone calls and hand-written contracts,’ Butler said. ‘Now it’s computers and e-mails.’
Fortunately, Butler had a week to acclimate himself to his new duties prior to his assignment becoming official at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
Also a history teacher at VCHS, Butler has reduced his course load by two class periods to free up time for AD duties.
Butler will still be particularly busy during the winter months, however, as he is set to begin his 19th season as VCHS’s girls basketball coach.
He coached the VJHS boys for three years prior to taking over the high school girls program and has two years until retirement.
That said, Butler said a few folks were surprised when they found out he was interested in the AD position.
‘A little bit at this point in my career,’ Butler said, ‘but I enjoy working with coaches and being part of the overall sports program.’