Todd Ware is fairly new to his position as athletic director of Altus schools and although he has never quite been on this side of sports before, he spent six years teaching and coaching in Altus before he transitioned to the administration side of things as the assistant principal of Altus High School.
Ware took control of the position in March after former athletic director and Head Football Coach Jeremy Reed made clear his intentions to leave Altus in pursuit of a head coaching position for the Lake Hamilton Wolves in Arkansas.
Although he is still getting his bearings with the position, he is excited to be there.
“It is an honor to be in this position. I have always been very closely connected to our athletic department as an assistant principal,” Ware said. “I love to watch the kids grow and develop in our programs from the junior high level through the high school level and watching our kids compete at all levels is so fulfilling.”
And it is quite possible that nobody is as excited to watch these students and teams compete as Ware is.
Ware sees many great opportunities beginning to take shape in both athletics and education and gives credit to a paradigm shift in teaching and coaching in recent years.
“Our coaches better understand how to reach athletes,” Ware said. “I encourage all coaches to build relationships with both staff and their athletes. We see many new coaching strategies today that we promote in our programs and I feel that has helped in developing athletes and getting them to buy in to the program and embrace the role they play on the team.”
As the school year draws closer, he is ready to see what these teams can do.
After the football team won the state championship last year, the bar became set pretty high.
Now, without players like Taven Birdow and Jayden Benway and several others, the community wonders how far this new football team can go.
Ware said that the goal every season is to get as deep into the playoffs as possible, no matter the sport and he believes the football team, if healthy and focused, can achieve whatever they set their minds to.
He is also excited about the new direction that has been taken with the softball program. First with the hiring of Joey Stengell as the head coach and then with the dedication he saw from the softball girls in the dead heat of summer in July.
And he believes that the cross-country program will be excellent this year.
“Coach (Rick) Patterson always has both the boys and girls well prepared,” Ware said. “He has some returners and some new runners coming in this year and I think we will be very competitive through the regular season.”
No matter the sport, Ware is excited for this upcoming school year.
He will be putting in his first full year as the athletic director of Altus schools and feels that each sport has a great chance to succeed.
“When I have a chance to join the students in their successes, it gives me great pleasure,” Ware said. “Just the same, when we fall short or do not win a contest, we share in the disappointment, but win or lose, we all have an opportunity to learn and take something with us from the experience.”
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.