Ask the AD - Bill Sterner, Hancock High School

This summer, just like we did last 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 Bill Sterner from Hancock High School in Washington County! Bill spoke with us about a variety of topics, including the role athletics plays in Hancock's school environment!

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

Bill Sterner:I became the AD in 1982 in my first year as an English teacher at Hancock. Previously, I worked eight years at Southern Fulton High School in Pennsylvania. I had one year experience as an assistant there. The job came open and I was actually the only applicant. There weren't many people who wanted this job with all the extra hours it entailed back then.

CSZ:How has the job changed since you started? How has it stayed the same?

BS:The job is still one that to be successful you must focus on the kids- be kid centered. I don't make schedules or any other decisions with coaches or administrators in mind- kids and families.

The job's biggest changes comes in the way of the added responsibilities of constantly evaluating your program and yourself to be successful and in the changing role of parental involvement. Parents for better or worse have surely changed the landscape of high school athletics. That, and budget, are our biggest challenges I feel.

CSZ:What do you enjoy most about your job?

BS:I enjoy being involved with people. Helping young coaches develop their skills, watching kids get excited about accomplishing milestones and working with families. It never gets old.

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

BS:We are a very small population school, so we celebrate successes here differently than in schools with large groups of athletes. We had a very successful boys track program over the last few years placing several of our athletes in the top six at the state meet. Football fell off last year but it was our first losing season in four years. For a school with just over 100 kids in grades nine to 12, I'm always proud to say we hold our own.

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

BS:I have the benefit of having a very good administrative staff here. My role is evaluating coaches and programs, being our kids' biggest cheerleader and keeping my athletes eligible both in the classroom, and discipline wise.

CSZ:What's the sports culture like at Hancock?

BS:Our sports culture here is sort of a dichotomy. In a small school, the kids are asked to do so much. We have kids who play a half of football then grab a saxophone and march at halftime with the band.

But we boast a 67% participation rate in athletics and our weight program attracts 15 to 20 kids an evening. Athletics is important to our kids and the community here. It definitely engenders a source of pride and tradition.
June 19th, 2017By: 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.