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GADA Spotlight

Rockmart High School Athletic Director

Rockmart High School’s Dan Duff is an athletic director that sees past wins and losses. It isn’t that victories aren’t important, but Duff wants Rockmart’s athletes to do the right things and develop character through athletics. “I want to see all our coaches and athletes improve as people of excellence,” said Duff. 

One of the most rewarding things about being an athletic director for Duff is helping others to reach their full potential. The AD since 2004, Duff puts his students and coaches ahead of himself. “It is very rewarding to see a young coach develop and succeed in leading young people to become productive on and off the playing field.”

At Rockmart High School, Duff has more than just an AD-to-coach relationship with other Yellow Jacket coaches. Duff has served as the football coach since 2002. Duff realizes that in order for his school’s success to continue, Rockmart, not just his football team or the softball has to come first. “I want to give all programs what they need and want, but the whole program has to come first. I make sure that all coaches and players understand that they represent our school and community at all times.” 

As any AD will tell you, all of the participants are important in high school, something Duff truly believes. “The best athlete is not more important than the worst.” Duff also expects his coaches to monitor each player’s grades as the coaches should help the athletes succeed in the classroom as well as on the field. “All of our coaches understand that they are teachers first.”

Duff offered advice to new athletic directors, saying to make certain all sports are treated fairly. “You (should) hire good people that have great character and that understand that winning records is not the most important thing.” He believes the most important thing is what type of influence an AD has on others. “Make sure you as the AD know what you believe and be consistent. Always stand up for the right thing and follow the rules no matter what.” Rockmart has done that under Duff’s watch, and the athletes are better off for it. 

Courtesy of

Vidalia High School Athletic Director
You may know Chunk Reid as the extremely successful girls basketball coach that won his 750th game last year and who is tenth in wins on the list of active coaches. However Mr. Reid has done more than just rack up wins (28 straight to start the season last year) and awards such as the Bobby Cremins Georgia High School girls basketball coach of the year last year. He has been the longtime athletic director at Vidalia, something that he finds rewarding.

"Our athletic programs have been very successful and well respected over the years and this is my greatest reward," said Reid. He also said that one of the most rewarding things about being an AD is seeing the athletes and coaches be successful in their endeavors on and off the court.

Mr. Reid walks a fine line between coach and AD, but he has been quite successful in dealing with other coaches as a fellow coach as well as a boss. "We have some of the best coaching staffs in the state. This makes it easy to look out for the best interest of the three parties (coaches, school, players) involved. Through their loyalty and dedication to Vidalia High School, they do what's necessary to be successful." 

In fact, serving as both a coach and an AD gives Mr. Reid a better idea of what the coaches need from him. "It puts me in a position to understand their individual coaching needs which in turn makes it easier to be an AD."

As for Mr. Reid's favorite part of being an athletic director, he says it is quite simple: seeing Vidalia win. "This gives me great satisfaction and pride. Being a coaching staff member and knowing in a small way that as an AD I helped the total overall athletic department be a winner."

And Mr. Reid also has a bit of advice for new ADs out there. "Be compassionate to all the sports and their need to be a winner. Sometimes a lot of ADs tend to look over the sports that are non-revenue or not as popular as others, but to the athletes and their parents involved in these sports, it is number one. The total program creates unity and support of the community and the school."

Courtesy of AJC/John Conner
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