06 September 2013

Tschida ready to tackle new position

Tiger Athletic Director Bill Tschida
One might say sports are in new Tiger assistant principal/athletic director Bill Tschida's genetic make-up.

"My Dad has always been a coach and he's still coaching baseball at the age of 77," Tschida said. "At one time when I was growing up our family had season tickets to the Vikings, the North Stars and the St. Paul Saints. Sports have always been a big part of my life."

Tschida, a Cretin-Derham Hall High School graduate, went on to play and coach both baseball and hockey at St. John's University as well as do play-by-play and hots a sports talk show ont he school radio station. All of those experiences helped set the stage for a long and diversified career in Minnesota school athletics.

The journey began with a three-year stint at a private K-8 school in Marshall where he also served as as assistant baseball coach at Marshall High School.  
Next came a nine-year run at Sleepy Eye St. Mary's where Tschida taught, coached and served as athletic director. From there, he moved to Watertown-Mayer where he was athletic director, varsity baseball and assistant volleyball coach for eight years.

Tschida, his wife Karen, and children Patrick, Emily and Nick, all student athletes, spent a year in Adrian where Bill was dean of students as well as athletic director. For the past five years, Tschida held a similar position at Holy Trinity High School in Winsted.

The new Tiger AD said he is confident he is prepared to handle the rigors his new job presents.

"I feel I bring a lot of experience," he said. "I see the job here as a challenge but one I am excited about. If I didn't think I could handle it, I wouldn't have applied."

With the start of the school year and a new fall season, it's been a hectic time to step into the chair vacated by Jon Summer who resigned in late July to take a similar position at Chaska High School.

"Lots of meetings and getting to know the environment and the people," Tschida said. "There's been a lot of catch-up. The timing could have been a little better but it's an exciting time."

As for the change in culture from a small school in greater Minnesota to a rapidly-growing exurban high school in the metro area, Tschida said there are a number of similarities.

"There will obviously be a learning curve for me here," he said. "For example, I've never been at a school with lacrosse or soccer programs. But many of the issues are the same. There are just more of them.

"I've been through the wars and feel well-prepared for this opportunity. I think I am a good communicator and a good listener. I'm comfortable around people and hope they will be the same around me."

Tschida says his underlying philosophy centers on athletics working hand-in-hand with academics to give the student athlete an enriched high school experience.

"Activities provide an opportunity to teach life lessons," he said, "Things like being a good teammate and dealing with adversity."

Two items stand at the top of Tschida's to-do list for his first year of duty: Meeting with and learning more about the coaches, student athletes and Farmington community and completing all of the necessary steps to transition smoothly into the South Suburban Conference next fall.

"We want to make sure that we do whatever it takes to have our programs ready to compete in the new conference," he said.