By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hirsbrunner begins role as AD
Placeholder Image
MONROE - A framed Monroe track uniform in Dave Hirsbrunner's office bearing the accomplishments of a long distance crew from 2002-07 reminds him of what he gave up and the impact he had.

Hirsbrunner has begun his new journey as the Monroe Athletic Director. He will teach two hours of special education and he remains the boys cross country coach. He started the transition process in the summer by meeting with former athletic director Kevin Keen, who retired from his position, teaching and coaching at the end of last school year.

Giving up his head boys track coaching position that he had had for eight years was a big decision. Hirsbrunner received support from his two children - Jake, who is a freshman at Monroe High School, and sixth-grade daughter Jordan, who is at Monroe Middle School. Both of Hirsbrunner's children are involved in track.

"I left the decision up to my two children," Hirsbrunner said. "If they felt they wanted me to be head track coach, I wouldn't have taken the position. When I first started teaching, my main goal was to be an athletic director."

Hirsbrunner still plans to be an assistant track coach working with high jumpers and long distance runners. However, his first priority is as athletic director.

"It wasn't my choice," Hirsbrunner said about giving up the head track coaching position. "That was what was presented to me. I didn't have an option. If I was head track coach and athletic director, it would have hindered my ability to be the best athletic director I can be. There is so much in the spring and so much is weather oriented."

Hirsbrunner was the first individual state track champion at Darlington when he won a state title in the 1,600-meters in 1987. He was also a member of Darlington's first cross country team to win a state championship in 1985.

Hirsbrunner coached track for 16 years (eight years with the boys and eight years with the girls). He has guided the boys track team to four conference championships, three regional championships and one sectional title. He had 20 individual state medalists, 24 state place winners and two state champions - the 3,200-meter relay team in 2006 and 2007. He was the District 5 Coach of the Year in 2007. The 2007 3,200 relay team of Brandon Miles, Brett DeNure, Patrick Klein and Aron Kehoe still owns the WIAA Division 1 state record (7 minutes, 42.91 seconds).

When Hirsbrunner's wife Cory became involved in the school district's administration as principal at Northside School and now as the director of curriculum and instruction, his goals changed.

"There was a time when I wouldn't do it," he said of the athletic director position.

Now, the timing is right. Hirsbrunner has worked with Keen on getting updated on athletic department policies, entering schedules on the Internet and finding umpires for spring baseball and softball games.

Hirsbrunner said that he is already scheduling games, meets and matches for the 2011-12 school year.

"You have to have a calendar with you all the time," he said.

There are 17 sports in addition to the dance and cheerleading teams that are co-curricular activities in the athletic department. As athletic director, Hirsbrunner also sets up all the scheduling of the gyms, orders equipment, sets up the bus schedule for every team, enforces the athletic code and attends high school sporting events.

Every Monday he contacts the First Student bus company to ensure buses are lined up for every away game. He also coordinates the mini bus schedule at the high school.

"The worst nightmare would be meeting the other team and passing buses on the road going to a location where no one else is at," he said. "There is a lot of communication. It's something I like to do. I will have an open door policy."

Whenever Hirsbrunner has a question he can't answer right away, he knows he can count on Keen.

"I can't imagine doing this without any help at the start," he said. "It's exciting for the first day of school to get into a routine."