From sideline to classroom

Athletic director exchanges duties but remains at school to help teach

Candace Taggart, Features Editor

Shad Hanna recently announced that he was stepping down as athletic director, but will be staying at the school in a teaching position that has not been decided yet.
“We’ve had a great successful run here and won a district championship,” Hanna said. “I felt like it was a good time for me to step back, and I’m about three years from retirement.”
Hanna’s daughter Delaini Hanna competes in collegiate pole vaulting at Midwestern State University, and he wanted to “enjoy every minute of it.”
“With Delaini doing her stuff, I wanted to be able to chase her around and go see her every chance I get because she only gets to do this one time,” Hanna said.
Hanna said multiple factors went into this decision after his 25 years of coaching, including his five years as athletic director and coach here, but it was ultimately about “being a father and a husband.”
“I’ve had a lot of early mornings and late nights, and I’ve never had a full summer,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to enjoy taking a break and to be able to have normal working hours, being home more, and going to a football game with my daughters.”
School board president Jeannie Hilbers said Hanna had brought a new prospective and energy to the school, but they accepted his request to change duties to a different position.
“The application for athletic director position was posted the day after Hanna’s request, and the application process will take several weeks,” Hilbers said.
Donny Gray, track coach and assistant football coach, said this change was surprising.

I feel like the athletic program blossomed and grew and made a lot of improvements, not just with the boys, with the girls, too,”

— Shad Hanna

“I don’t know how to process it yet,” Gray said. “It has made me really busy, but I’m happy for him.”
Hanna led the football team to their first district championship since 2008.
“I feel like the athletic program blossomed and grew and made a lot of improvements, not just with the boys, with the girls, too,” Hanna said.
Gray said Hanna made the football program completely different and improved the sports program overall.
“To make the football team grow from their first district win to district champions is amazing,” Gray said. “We also had several sports make it to state competition such as track, tennis, golf and volleyball while he was here.”
Gray expressed that his time here with Hanna as his A.D. was really special.
“He allowed me to coach and help anywhere I could,” he said. “It was fun.”
Volleyball coach Krissa England said Hanna brought out more participation.
“There were more guys and girls in athletics, and there was more involvement in track because of him,” England said.
England said she’s happy that Hanna gets to pursue his wish and see his daughter compete.
“I appreciate all he did for the girls’ program and I wish him luck,” she said.
Senior Ty Bates, starting quarterback, said Hanna improved the sports program for the best.
“He changed the mentality, so people took sports more seriously and competitiveness increased,” Bates said. “I’m thankful to have him as a coach and accomplish many things together.”
Sophomore Elijah Jackson said Hanna was a good leader for the football team.
“Our offense was unique under Hanna,” he said. “With or without Hanna, I still believe we’ll go farther than ever next year.”
Hanna said he’s very proud of the improvements he made to the facilities.
“I think whenever things look nice, kids take more pride in them, and when there’s more pride, I think there’s a better opportunity to win and be successful.” He said.
Hanna said he is grateful for the “small school atmosphere” and being able to coach football and Delaini in track.
“The community has given me so much support over the years and it’s been an awesome opportunity,” Hanna said. “That’s why we’re not going anywhere. We’re going to stay right here in our city for a while.”