A little more than three months ago, the Marion County Board of Education eliminated the athletic director positions at East Fairmont, Fairmont Senior and North Marion high schools during reduction-in-force hearings.

At the board’s meeting on Monday, June 5, the board approved former West Fairmont head football coach and current Rivesville Middle School principal Frank Moore as the Marion County activities/athletic/facilities director.

The position will replace the three county ADs.

“We had a total of six applicants, all in-county,” Marion County superintendent Dr. James Phares said. “I thought we had good candidates, and it was a very tough decision. But I think Frank brings not only a strong athletic perspective but a strong academic one as well.”

According to the minutes of the meeting, the move, recommended by the superintendent, will be effective starting on June 12, 2006.

“We are calling it our FAA (facilities, activities and athletics) position for the county,” Phares said. “It will be an administrative position, so they won’t be out supervising on game nights.”

Instead, Moore will coordinate the use of facilities, do seasonal inspections of said facilities including auditoriums, fields, gymnasiums, Fifth Street Gym, East-West Stadium and the Woody Williams Armory, and coordinate and schedule activities, Phares said.

Moore will not just be in charge of the high schools but the middle schools as well.

Phares also mentioned a planned database that could be of great use for county residents.

“With the use of software, we hope to establish a database that people can look to for everything that is going on in the county,” he said. “Also there will be some kind of e-mail alert that can be issued when games are postponed or canceled.”

This position doesn’t take away from allowing the principals at the schools from filling some supervisory positions on game nights because of the county’s extracurricular contract provisions, Phares said.

One person overseeing all of the county’s needs in these areas should make things run more smoothly. But one of the major points Phares sees in the position is having an unbiased eye available to the schools to step in and settle or handle things.

“Some of the time, schools and coaches will be at odds with parents over playing time,” he said. “Sometimes conflicts arise between schools even, and athletic directors wear the school colors, so it will help having an unbiased mediator to look at things.

“Many times, athletic directors are long-time coaches and are friends with a lot of coaches that we are expecting them to evaluate. Sometimes that can be very difficult. I believe having one position, not attached to any school, will help in a policy 53-10 issue, which is a performance-related issue.”

Phares also indicated the Moore is ready to take on the job.

“Frank is really excited about it,” he said. “As a former athletic director of the year, he feels this type of organization can work. A lot of school systems throughout the nation are going to one athletic director system.

“We are going to have some advisory meetings with the principals in early July and should be able to know more of what will be going on in the future after that.”

E-mail Mike Bowen at mbowen@timeswv.com.

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