Fans of Anne Arundel County athletics might need a scorecard to know who the athletic director is at their favorite school.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
With three public-school athletic directors in the county recently retiring from their posts, some familiar names have taken their places. Most of the replacements have come from athletic directors within the county, which of course created more openings. Just one of the positions, at North County, was filled by an assistant athletic director so far.
While it would be nice to see more assistants or others who are in the pool of candidates eventually get an opportunity to become an athletic director, the county’s current crop has proven more than capable.
Sometimes it’s that simple.
Pete Alvanos returned to the area a few years ago and took over as North County’s athletic director. With Dave Gehrdes recently stepping down from Annapolis, Alvanos saw it as an opportunity to return to his alma mater. Nothing against North County, but the opportunity to work for the school where he played football and lacrosse was extremely attractive for Alvanos, who was born in Annapolis and graduated from Annapolis High School in 1983.
Maybe the most surprising departure was Dave Lanham from Severna Park. Lanham, a Glen Burnie High School graduate, will soon be moving to Florida to pursue opportunities in athletics. Kevin Rutledge, Lanham’s replacement, transfers to Severna Park from Meade, where he oversaw several improvements in athletic facilities.
Surely these “new” athletic directors aren’t looking to take over at their new location and make major changes. As a few of them mentioned over the last few weeks while talking to The Capital, sometimes it’s good to have a new set of eyes looking at things. Each of the retiring athletic directors left their departments in good shape, but the new athletic director can certainly put their own spin on things.
The county is losing three excellent athletic directors, all of whom were fortunate to step away on their own terms. It will be strange not seeing Ken Kazmarek on the sidelines of a Broadneck football game or not encountering Dave Gehrdes as you walk down the steps to the entrance of Richard Ensor Stadium at Annapolis — ready and waiting to take your money in exchange for a ticket to the event.
The most personal connection I have to the retiring athletic directors is Lanham. Upon moving to Maryland in 1988, Lanham was one of my first teammates and his father was one of the first coaches I played for in my new home.
I graduated from Glen Burnie High School in 1992 with Lanham, so I was thrilled the first time I got to cover him as a baseball coach and later interact with him as an athletic director. Athletics is his life, and it showed in the way he ran his teams or departments.
Annapolis Area Christian School’s Jim Domoracki is also stepping down. Again, not because he didn’t have it good at AACS, but because home called. He and his family are moving back to New England. AACS stayed in-house and hired Josiah Wolf as Domoracki’s replacement, while Reggie Leach will coach the girls basketball team.
We were fortunate to get the opportunity to work with those who are leaving and wish them well.