Ask the AD- Mike Gelman, Randallstown High School

This summer, CSZ will be doing a segment on the WICKipedia entitled "Ask the AD". In this feature, we'll be conducting Q&A's with various athletic directors around Maryland to learn more about how different high schools run their athletic programs, and what to expect from them in the future.

Today we're featuring Mike Gelman from Randallstown High School in Baltimore County! Mike spoke with us about how he became Randallstown's AD, what he values in a coach and the type of year Randallstown had!


County Sports Zone:How did you become the AD at Randallstown? How did that come about?

Mike Gelman:I was an athletic director in New York for 10 years before moving to Maryland. I came down to Maryland, got out of teaching and got into sales. I was a national sales manager for a national fitness company in the mid 1980's. I did it for six and a half years, was successful and enjoyed it, but missed the face to face contact, so I decided to get back into teaching and coaching. I started working at Randallstown 22-23 years ago and I got into coaching. After doing that for awhile the previous AD decided to step back to concentrate on coaching, and I was asked if I would be interested. After one more year of coaching, I decided to do it, and I've been AD for 16 years now.

CSZ:You've been an AD for 26 total years. How has the job stayed the same?

MG:The hours are the same, they're long, especially in Baltimore County where you're hired as a teacher and then your athletic director responsibilities are same in theory to that of a coach. When you're the athletic director you are checking field conditions, outdoor conditions, scheduling officials, transportation and making sure you have a grounds crew lining the field.

CSZ:What do you look for in a coach?

MG:You look at the quality of the person. Integrity is important for me. I'm a believer that the team represents the coach. The coach dictates a whole lot. When I interview coaches, I want integrity and life lessons for the kids. Sports are a microcosm of lift itself- you're going to win and lose. Don't make excuses and point fingers if things don't go your way. A lot of that starts with the coach.

I don't have special contests, but I post each team's GPA for that particular season. That allows each coach to pass along to their team to see how they stand up. I tell coaches from Day 1 that I've never hired or fired a coach based on the winning or losing record. You are teaching, coaches are teachers, so I look for them to instill that. It isn't a win at all costs mentality.

CSZ:How would you rate this past year for Randallstown athletics? Were there a couple highlights that stand out?

MG:Our boys and girls track teams had good years for outdoor. We had county and regional champs for regionals and relays. State champions as well. A number of our athletes qualified to compete at outdoor nationals.

We had a tennis player who for the third consecutive year was undefeated in county and regions, qualifying for states. We had a boys basketball team that advanced in regional play and lost a good game to New Town who were eventual state champs.

A lot of teams showed great improvement- volleyball improved its record with a new coach who is really turning the program around. I'm excited to see how they do this season. Our allied softball team in the spring went undefeated for I believe the third straight year. They did well- good participation and parent involvement. Other than that, each season and team had a highlight.

CSZ:What do you enjoy most about your job?

MG:My biggest thrill is watching these students come in as ninth graders who are just in awe of everything, and seeing how they mature as people. That's great. Also, even though it isn't always a positive, but no two days are the same. If you are in the classroom you know your curriculum and what you're going to be teaching. You never know what the day is going to bring when you're an athletic director. The weather play a big role in that.

The big thing though is interacting with students and seeing the work they put in, whether if it is in the weight room or the offseason. To see the look on their face after succeeding and working hard is a thrill.

CSZ:What is the AD's job within the high school community?

MG:You wear many hats. You're viewed in a leadership and administrative capacity, not quite a principal but a middle management position. A trustworthy person with good decision making ability. I'm at every home game, and we have between 115-120 home contests a year. With me there, administrators don't feel as if they have to be at every game. Because I have been there as long as I have, and even though I've been there for 11 different principals and all are different, they've all trusted me to run athletic events on my own.

CSZ:Looking ahead, is there anything exciting or new for Randallstown Athletics that we should be on the look out for?

MG:I would like to re-outfit every team at the school over the next few years. We have 30-32 teams and last year we probably got new uniforms for 3-5 of them. I'm hoping to do more this year. Facility wise, not that any spectators are going to see it, but we are getting new lockers in our locker rooms which is exciting because it'll be a nice face lift. Kids have got backpacks and book bags, and the old lockers couldn't fit them all. These new ones will allow them to fit that as well as their equipment for their sports.
July 7th, 2016By: Wick Eisenberg

County Sports Zone provides the schedules, scores and standings for 208 public high schools across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
We post the score of every game - varsity, junior varsity, freshman - by 11 o’clock every night.