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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Behind-the-scenes work often unappreciated

Mountains of tiny details pile up and stress runs high in the office of many athletic directors across the nation. Coordinating the fine points of sports programs often proves quite a challenge for Scott Callisch, campus athletic director.

Many students are unaware that a lone man stands behind the scenes of each and every sports game.

“I never knew who Callisch was,” Perri Potigian, ’07, said. “I just always assumed he was the boys’ P.E. teacher.”

Besides sweeping the floors before and after games in the gym, Callisch has more important things to do.

“Throughout the school year I am in charge of scheduling, athletic budgeting and purchases, facility acquisition, where our teams play and also where playoffs will be held,” Callisch said. “I represent Fresno Christian at the league level, and I attend the meetings. I set up for games and chalk the fields, arrange for all the athletic awards, transportation and referees.”

Responsibilities differ between high school and college athletic directors.

“I’ve been the athletic director at Fresno State for two-and-a-half years,” Scott Johnson said. “I’m probably a little more visible to the public than an athletic director at a high school because of the contacts I have to make with the media about our sports programs.”

In addition to the media responsibilities, Johnson has more personal responsibilities regarding the coaches and athletes.

“I meet with teachers, students, athletes and administrators everyday. I am in at least four meetings a day. I also do a lot of football scheduling, usually five years in advance; for teams who don’t want to come all the way to the Valley, we negotiate a two for one deal. This is where we go to their field twice and they come here once.”

Johnson strives to keep the flood of activity he faces daily from hindering his judgment skills.

“I have final say in hiring the coaches,” Johnson said. “The attributes I value most and look for when hiring coaches are if they have any previous NCAA experience, any previous success, any past violations and they must be a good speaker. These coaches will have to face the media under all types of circumstances and they must be able to keep their composure when under pressure.”

Both Johnson and Callisch agree that it is important for the possible coaches to know and understand the level of the athletics they will be responsible for overlooking.

“It really helps to have good coaches,” Callisch said. “A good coach demonstrates teaching abilities, understands high school athletics and is organized and responsible. I believe all Fresno Christian coaches possess these attributes.”

Other than responsibility, a heavy pressure lies on Johnson’s shoulders to maintain the reputation of the entire Fresno State athletics department.

“In being an athletic director, I have to be a real stickler for detail,” Johnson said. “I set the tone for the entire athletic department now and in following years. Then once I’m gone, others will be able to follow up with their own visions and expectations.”

In his 20th year as campus athletic director, Callisch has mastered many techniques and has gained an expertise in the athletic department while juggling different types of obligations.

“There are so many details that are involved in having an athletic department,” Callisch said. “Like coordinating the game schedules and all the needed facilities. There just needs to be one person who can oversee all the major and minor details. Before Peoples Church allowed us to use their gym and before it was even finished, we had to play all our home basketball games in Fowler, Fresno Pacific and Immanuel’s gyms.”

Personal relationships are key to success in the athletic department.

“Scott has excellent relationships with other athletic directors around the Valley,” Principal Gary Schultz said. “He is highly respected and is an expert because of his experience and knowledge. He does an excellent job with our entire athletic department despite the extensive amount of responsibility he carries.

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