By Steve Robinson | September 2, 2018 - 7:09 am
Posted in Category: The Normalite

Nic Kearfoot took over as Athletic Director at Normal Community High School from Mike Clark who retired in July. Kearfoot said he considers himself “very lucky” to be introduced into the business of being an administrator.

“I broke into it at a very young age and I’ve been lucky enough to be at some good schools and stay in the profession,” he explained.

The 38-year-old Kearfoot came to NCHS and Unit 5 from Dekalb High School. NCHS is his third high school as an athletic administrator having sought to go into the profession 15 years ago. His other job as an administrator was at Okaw Valley High School.

Kearfoot replaced Mike Clark who, after what was his second stint as AD at NCHS, retired in July. Kearfoot admits he was considering applying for the post just as Clark’s predecessor, Andy Turner, was going to exit Unit 5 for the AD job at Maine South High School in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge.

“Two years ago, when Mr. Turner left – I knew he was leaving –, I inquired about the position then,” Kearfoot explained. “But once I heard about it opening again, I was interested in it.” And with good reason because although he has spent time elsewhere doing the job, coming to NCHS would put Kearfoot and his family – wife Stephanie and three sons ages 13, 10, and 7 – closer to where he and his wife grew up in El Paso. He and his wife graduated from high school there in 1998. During his high school days, he was a three-sport athlete.

In high school, Kearfoot played football, basketball, and baseball. He received his bachelor’s degree in something that doesn’t touch athletics, however – Agricultural Education from Illinois State University. He later earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

“I knew how great and rich the athletic tradition and programs are here, so, I knew the district was sound and academically successful,” Kearfoot said of Unit 5. “My wife and I always had talked about that, if we had the chance to come back to the Bloomington-Normal area, we would try to.”

Kearfoot was hired in mid-February. That allowed him to take part in interviews for the Ironmen head football coaching job which was vacant when he arrived, seeking a replacement for Wes Temples who resigned in December. Of that search, Kearfoot said, “We knew we had a huge task at hand just because the tradition Normal Community football has had over the last 20 or 30 years.” The committee recommended and Unit 5 School Board members unanimously voted to approve Jason Drengwitz to be the Ironmen’s next coach.

Once he knew he had the AD job, Kearfoot took a few days in the spring to set up interviews with each of his coaches. “That gave me a chance to know a little about them and their programs,” the veteran AD explained. He labeled those conversations as “very beneficial.”

Here’s to hoping that under Kearfoot, NCHS’ tradition in their sports teams’ accomplishments will continue just as they have and just as he was mindful of.

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