01STOCK_FOOTBALL

An athletic director’s job primary job is to oversee all aspects of the athletic programs that are sponsored by a school or an institution.

And to promote each and every sport at the school whether that program is an annual conference contender, a bottom feeder or somewhere in between.

Tim Collins, Brian Hammil and Shane Suehring defined the type of positive impact an athletic director can have at a school.

Collins spent 20 years at Walworth Big Foot before resigning earlier this month. Hammil will step down June 30 after 11 years as Milton’s AD, and Suehring resigned at Orfordville Parkview after 13 years at the helm. That’s 44 combined years of experience, professionalism and dedication to each school that will be hard to replace.

Guy Stricker was hired to replace Suehring and will take on the newly created position of assistant principal/athletic director at Parkview.

Big Foot and Milton have not hired replacements yet.

Suehring’s impact at Parkview will be felt for years to come. He was instrumental in starting the Parkview Athletic Hall of Fame and was responsible for keeping the athletics program afloat despite declining enrollment.

“Probably the most meaningful thing to me was that we were able to continue sponsoring all the same programs, along with adding boys and girls hockey as part of a co-op,” Suehring said of surviving a trend of enrollment numbers dropping on a yearly basis.

“Plus, we were successful in our bid to get out of the Rock Valley and into a conference where the enrollment numbers are more aligned.”

Parkview now competes in the Trailways South in the majority of sports, with football in the SWAL.

Stricker has been in the Parkview district for more than a decade. He is excited about the opportunity to have a dual role at the school.

“The biggest thing for me is that this is a tremendous community and a school that I’m so proud to be a part of,” Stricker said.

“I’ll take every piece of advice Shane gives me to ensure that our athletics program continues to grow and gets to the next level.

“As the assistant principal, I would say 80% of my time and efforts will go toward academics and student needs, as it should. But I’ll give my all to the athletic programs, as well.

“My No. 1 priority as far as athletics go is to increase participation in each and every sport, and that starts by getting our youth programs where they need to be and clicking with the middle school and high school programs.”

Hammil saw a wave of success in his 11 years at the helm in Milton. The girls swim team won back-to-back Division 2 state titles in 2010 and 2011, while the girls golf program made five straight trips to state between 2014-18. Wrestling, football and baseball also won conference titles during his time.

“I think more than anything I just realized that I was old enough to retire but still young enough to do some other things I’ve always wanted to,” Hammil said. “I’ll stay busy.

“Being an athletic director was not something I really thought about, but if I was going to do it, it was only going to be in Milton.”

Collins retired after spearheading the renovation project at Big Foot that resulted in $7.8 million in bonds being approved via a referendum. The new state-of-the-art complex includes: a quadplex baseball/softball facility; turfed football and soccer fields; an eight-lane track; shot put, discus, long jump and high jump pits; two lighted tennis courts; home bleachers; an auxiliary parking lot; and a new bathroom/concessions building.

Collins said in a phone interview that Big Foot is not likely to hire his replacement until the school district knows if fall sports will take place or not.

He, Suehring and Hammil all leave big shoes to fill.

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