Clayton Kreger knows what a successful athletics program at Janesville Parker High looks like.
The 2002 Parker graduate played on some of the school’s most successful football teams and roamed the halls at a time when Mistie Bass and the girls basketball program were relevant not just at the state and local levels, but also ranked at the national level.
Kreger is now taking on a new role, with the goal of helping Parker’s students find success in their athletic endeavors.
Parker announced Kreger as its new athletic director in a news release Friday.
“It’s something I’ve always been passionate about,” Kreger said in a phone interview. “You see me at every single Parker game. I’m definitely excited for the opportunity to keep supporting our kids.”
Kreger has taught math at Parker since 2012. His new AD role will cut the number of classes he teaches from six to two.
Kreger is also heading into his fourth season as the Vikings’ head football coach. He was part of Big Eight Conference title-winning teams as a player, including when Parker won the first two of its five Big Eight Conference championships in 2000 and 2001. The Vikings were 1-9 last season, but Kreger believes the team is building momentum.
He hopes to carry over some principles of his football program to the entire athletics department.
“First, I want to get with our coaches and talk about how we define success,” Kreger said. “I like some of the things we’re doing (in football) and want to talk to other coaches about what they’re doing. I would define our success by our leadership development in our young athletes.”
Kreger said he stresses grade-point averages, attendance rates, sportsmanship and community involvement to his players.
“It’s getting our kids into a winning atmosphere at Parker High School,” Kreger said. “When I was at Parker, I was a three-sport athlete, part of youth bowling, FFA, 4-H, DECA. So I, personally, believe those are life-changing experiences. I want to give back to Parker High School because Parker gave so much to me.
“I just want to show our kids there’s so much they can learn from all those extracurricular activities.”
Kreger replaces John Zimmerman, who served as AD for one year but is returning his focus to the classroom.
“Mr. Kreger’s passion for Parker athletics, strong relationships with students, staff and parents, and his vision for co-curricular activities comes across in all of his actions,” Parker principal Chris Laue said in the release. “I am pleased to have him assume this role and look forward to the positive impact he will have on our programs.”
“I think we can have our older coaches help mentor our younger ones and help to create an identity for Parker athletics,” Kreger said. “I know that’s something coach (Joe) Dye and coach Zimmerman started doing and did a phenomenal job. I have big shoes to fill ... and I’m just looking forward to molding the athletics department at Parker.”