Ask the AD - Ryan Hines, Urbana 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 Ryan Hines from Urbana High School in Frederick County! During our conversation, Ryan talked to us about this past year in Urbana Athletics, and the role athletics plays in a high school community.


County Sports Zone:How did you become the AD at Urbana?

Ryan Hines:The athletic director here while I was coaching, Kevin Kendro, left to become the County Supervisor of Athletics in the winter of 2013/14. This opened the AD spot here at Urbana and after talking with a number of coaches here, I thought it would be a good move to apply.

CSZ:How would you rate this past year for Urbana Athletics?

RH:I thought our teams performed very well. We have had years with more state titles, but our athletics program won the Principal's Cup in Frederick County. This is like the Capital One Cup in college where all the teams from each season are ranked at the end of the regular season and awarded points for their performance and sportsmanship. This was a huge accomplishment for our athletic department and speaks volumes to the strength of every team at the school.

Our girls track team won the 3A state title and just recently, CJ Ecalono was named the Girls Coach of the Year by MileSplit MD.

CSZ:What do you look for when hiring a coach?

RH:I look for someone who can build relationships with the players and other members of the program. I want someone who is competitive and someone who understands that coaching is about teaching young athletes.

One of the most important qualities is the coach's ability to self-reflect. My favorite question to ask is, "Tell me about two of the biggest mistakes you have made as a coach." The answer to that question tells you a lot about a person.

CSZ:What do you enjoy most about being an AD?

RH:The ability to have an impact on all the sports at the school, and the effect your work can have on the teams. As a coach, you can work your tail off for 11 months of the year and something out of your control like a bad call, an injury or turnover, can ruin all the effort you put into that season. As an AD, if I drag a field, re-wax the gym floor or buy new equipment, the effect is immediate and it will benefit our athletes.

I get to be involved with so many athletes and coaches who play games every week. I love competition and in this job it seems like I get to enjoy it every day on the field or in the gym. What could be more fun?

CSZ:Urbana is a school that has a history of teams making deep playoff runs. When you have a team making a deep postseason run and going to states, what is the atmosphere like around the school? How does the athletic department try to enhance that atmosphere?

RH:We try to really promote the athletes and the teams making those runs. Each year it seems to be a different sport- boys soccer a few years ago, baseball and girls basketball two years ago and girls track this year.

The Urbaniacs are the ones who drive the school spirit and it's fun to watch as they go through the school and pass the torch to the next class of superfans. It's also exciting to see different sports make playoff runs, and that helps to build the excitement as it's not always the same group.

CSZ:How do you view the role of an athletic director within a high school community?

RH:Athletics is a huge part of any successful school community and I think it's my responsibility to make sure the athletes have the equipment they need, and more importantly, the leadership they need from their coaches.

It's also my responsibility to make sure we have strong connections to our community and that we are building positive relationships with our stakeholders. Building an athletic department where all of the coaches care for all of the athletes is important. It's not just about that coach's team- they're a part of the larger athletic community. Our teams work closely with the feeder school by going and reading to kids, or volunteering to help with activities or camps. Our youth groups use our facilities and have developed very strong ties to our high school teams.

All of those things are important and our former booster president, Tim Mellott, said it best when he said our school is the one thing in our community that we all have in common. He could not have been more correct and by having a strong athletic program here, we are able to share in this common theme and make it a positive experience for those in the community.

CSZ:Is there anything exciting or new we should be on the look out for from the Urbana athletic department?

RH:Not that I can think of, just the same goal of improving from the day before. Our main goal this year is to develop better leadership and sportsmanship in our athletes and fans. We were very fortunate to win the Principal's Cup in 2016 and I hope we can win it again in 2017, with a few more playoff wins and an improved sportsmanship image.
August 9th, 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.