New Fort High co-athletic director Darren Johnson is ready for a full year.
Johnson, a law and math teacher at the school for one year and teaching veteran for seven, had been doing director’s duties since June when incumbent Jason Kabel was officially given a one-year leave of absence to go to Winnipeg.
The compressed time frame didn’t leave Johnson much time to prepare and work with co-director Greg Ste. Croix.
“It’s already been extremely busy,” said the 31-year-old Dryden native. “I didn’t realize how much work it was. [But] the ability to work with students outside the classroom has rewarding results.”
Johnson has been involved in several academic and athletic institutions. Since playing college hockey with Moorhead State University, he has handled sports administration in Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Eagle Lake Reserve, and Nelson McIntyre Collegiate in Winnipeg.
He also has officiated basketball and volleyball, including the 1999 Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg, where he served as a court official for its beach volleyball events.
In addition to his duties, Johnson will teach the maximum of six classes during the 2001-02 school year.
With high school teachers and staff available to coach teams again, Johnson will be taking over as coach of the Muskie senior girls’ basketball team this fall for community coaches Mike Busch and Paul Noonan.
Busch will coach the junior girls while Noonan will patrol the lines for the senior boys.
“They did an amazing job with every team last year. They’ll be a resource for sure,” said Johnson. “I’m looking forward to this year.”
Ste. Croix, himself entering his second year as co-athletic director, said he and Johnson are up to facing the challenges of handling such a large school’s athletic programs.
“We realize athletics at Fort High is a very demanding and we’ve have a lot of experience between the two of us [here] but together I think we’re going to do our best.”
But one question remains: Will Johnson step into Kabel’s role as the on-air co-host of Videon’s “Plugged-In”?
“That’s something I don’t want to do.,” said Johnson, adding he’s trying to get other Muskie sports some broadcast time on Channel 11.
He also refuses to partake in any Fort Frances Little Theatre productions, something Kabel readily did.
“And I don’t want to do any drama plays,” he laughed. “So I won’t be taking my shirt off in public anytime soon.”