Josh Smallwood has been at Staunton River High School since 2013 and has been a teacher and coach for the Golden Eagles, but he will now take on a new position as athletic director.
“I’ve always wanted to help folks and be able to have a positive impact on people,” Smallwood said. “I just felt like moving over from teaching and coaching football, I might be able to have a bigger impact on more kids and continue building our good programs that we have.”
He said he will step away from teaching and coaching to be able to concentrate on his duties as the new AD for SRHS. Smallwood was currently the offensive coordinator for the Golden Eagles football team. He said the decision to step down from that position was a “really bittersweet moment” and it wasn’t the ideal time considering the Golden Eagles football team is returning at least 17 starters. Even though it was bittersweet, Smallwood said he just has to look at it from a different angle.
He said he’s always gravitated toward administration and leadership roles. He has had experience prior to getting the AD gig. Before coming to SRHS, Smallwood was the head athletic trainer at the University of Illinois Springfield, which he said was more of an administration type job. He told his wife if he were to ever get back in the administration that it would be more of a role as an AD.
“It kind of suits my strengths,” Smallwood said. “It kind of brings things that I used to do eight or nine years ago at the college level.”
Smallwood calls this type of job his dream job and said he’s “pretty pumped” and on cloud nine to be the new AD. He also noted that if there was a year to step into an AD role, this was the year to do it, mentioning that because there are no games and practices going on, there isn’t that much stress right now as he gets adjusted to his new role.
As far as what he will bring to SRHS in his new position, Smallwood said the main thing that he wants everybody and the student athletes to feel is the excitement about being a Golden Eagle, and he wants to support them every way possible to make sure they are successful on and off the field or court to be prepared for life after high school.
“I’m going to be their biggest fan, and I want to know what they need to be successful,” he said. “I’ll be reaching out to the community on how we can help our students at SRHS ultimately be prepared for a lifetime of success, not just while they’re at the high school.”
Smallwood has already hit the ground running in his new role, and said they are finalizing their schedules right now, with most of them “fairly done” and hopes to have them available to the public in about a week or two.
Because of his experience in the administration field and his desire to always want to help his student athletes, Smallwood is confident he made the right choice and is looking forward to many years serving as the school’s AD.
“These jobs don’t come open very often,” he said. “It’s just an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
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