New athletic director announced

Nathan Yuan, News Editor

Chris Kirkpatrick will take the permanent athletic director position at Central on July 1, 2022.

“My plans [is] just to help them grow and help them become more successful there,” Kirkpatrick said.

The athletic director position entails working with coaches and athletes.

“[I’ll] make sure that the athletic program is first class,” Kirkpatrick said. “[I’ll] have a vision for the department and [make] sure that we are servicing our athletes the best that we can.”

After arriving at Central, Kirkpatrick wants to “learn and listen.”

“I want to start forming relationships with people,” Kirkpatrick said.  “The main thing is to come in and listen to people a lot and see what they have in mind and what they’re looking for students, coaches and parents and then building off from there.”

The vetting process for the new athletic director included three interviews, which included a panel of coaches, school administrators, parents and students. There were originally nine candidates.

“We’re looking for somebody who’s gonna make us better,” Jackie Thornton, assistant principal for curriculum and instruction, said. “I very specifically heard from coaches that there are really two aspects of leadership for an athletic department. There is the scheduling, transportation, coordination and planning, scheduling of all of the events. Then the other was that they were asking for leadership qualities and very specifically asking or demonstrating desire to have a unifying department goal.”

Kirkpatrick graduated with a bachelors in education from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. where he also played football. Since graduating, he has worked at many schools, including as a teacher, coach and eventually athletic director at Bishop McNamara Catholic School in Kankakee, Ill., a head football coach at St. Viator High in Arlington Heights, Ill. and athletic director at Duluth High School in Duluth, Ga. Kirkpatrick is currently the athletic director at Woodstock High School in Woodstock, Ill.