Ask the AD - Elizabeth DeFrances, Atholton 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 Elizabeth DeFrances from Atholton High School in Howard County! During our conversation, Elizabeth spoke with us about a wide array of topics, including what she looks for when hiring a coach.

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County Sports Zone:How did you become the athletic director at Atholton? How did your appointment come about?

Elizabeth DeFrances:I became AAM at Atholton four years ago when the previous AD moved to a new position within the county. I had been a teacher/coach at Atholton for 12 years and was in the pool of people seeking to be an AAM within the county. I had gone through an interview panel to be in the pool and then was selected from the pool by the principal at the time, Jennifer Clements.

CSZ:How has the job changed since you got started?

ED:My job is a little different than the typical AD as I don't just deal with athletics. I am also responsible for working with school clubs, building schedules and other administrative duties that vary from year to year, depending on the needs of the school.

CSZ:What do you enjoy most about your job?

ED:I love working with the students. It is great to be able to see them learn, grow, and excel in all their chosen sports/activities.

CSZ:What're a couple keys to running a successful athletics program?

ED:I would say the key components of any successful program is communication and teamwork. I am always seeking ways to ensure that all stakeholders are all working towards the same goal.

CSZ:What do you look for in a coach?

ED:I look for a coach that always has the best interest of the student-athlete at heart. In interviews, I like to hear how they are going to help their student-athletes excel, not only on the playing field, but also int he classroom and in the community.

In practices and at games, I like to see the coaches having positive interactions with the players, parents, fans and officials. I like coaches that are lifelong learners- that understand that there is always something more to learn that is going to help our student-athletes reach their greatest potential.

CSZ:Wednesday was the first day of athletics for this school year. What kind of day is that for the AD, and how excited are you for the start of the new season?

ED:The first day of athletics is always exciting. I get all the "Hey Ms. DeFrances" from the student-athletes I have gotten to know over the past couple of years, and the quieter "Hello Mrs. DeFrances" from the newer ones. I look forward to the time that they start to say "Hey" to me as they get to know me and get more comfortable with me, their coaches, and the school. I can't wait to see them all enjoying the sports that they love and representing their school with their absolute best!
August 12th, 2016By: Wick Eisenberg

County Sports Zone provides the schedules, scores and standings for 208 public high schools across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
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