Ask the AD - Jason Gordon, Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. 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 Jason Gordon from Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Prince George's County! Jason spoke with us about a variety of topics, including the keys to running a successful high school athletics program!


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

Jason Gordon:Divine Intervention. I taught and coached at Wise, baseball and girls soccer at the time, since my arrival in 2007. The Athletic Director who opened the school, Glennard Johnson, took a position to lead another school in 2011, leaving a vacancy at the school.

During that summer, I was contemplating my next career move because I had a desire to do more to assist students achieve their life goals and it hit me to pursue athletic administration as a positive way to that. I was fortunate to be interviewed with Dr. Carletta Marrow principal at Wise and presented the athletic philosophy and vision given to me of what the athletic program can look
like at Wise. She agreed and offered me the position during my close out meeting at Wise that school year.

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

JG:The biggest changes that have changed with the job is the emphasis on the safety of our student athletes in all aspects of their academic progression throughout high school. The advancement of technology and its use is another change in athletics. Our community likes to get information in real-time and if you can't adapt to that programs will suffer.

The way that the position has remained the same is that most sports still require a ball and effort. In order to be great at anything, you are going to have to work on your skills in order to succeed.

CSZ:What do you enjoy most about your job?

JG:The thing I enjoy most about this job are the relationships built with the students, coaches and community. Playing the part in a wide-eyed freshman maturing to a college bound senior is one of the greatest joys you can experience in educational athletics!

I also enjoy working with the best coaching staff in the nation! I get to glean from some of the brightest minds and plot the course of this department with a dynamic group of coaches and supportive principal in Charoscar Coleman! Lastly, the Wise community is a gem in our Prince George's County and I look forward to advancing this community with their continued support and help!

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

JG:The keys to running a successful program is having a V.I.S.A.- vision, inclusiveness, support, and administration.

Vision allows you to set marks to achieve and is what ignites your passion to get up every morning to strive to be better than the day before.

Inclusiveness is what allows for everyone to buy in and contribute to the vision. When major moves are going to be made, I take the time to survey and bounce things off the staff to see if this is direction that we should pursue.

Supporting the coaching staff and students in their given roles is paramount in successfully bringing the vision to fruition.

Lastly administration is important in keeping all of the pieces in place. Having procedures in place that don't overburden the coaching staff or overwhelm the department. We have also been blessed to have a great administrative staff that supports the efforts of our student athletes.

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

JG:I rate this past year as a B+. There is always room for improvement in ensuring that all of our athletes are able to secure a debt-free or discounted degree. 18 out of 22 seniors in the class of 2017 were able to secure scholarship moneys to attend school and we always shoot for 100%.

The positives from this year were that 18 out of 22 seniors are going to be able to compete in their sports next year. The football team completed back-to-back undefeated state titles in football. Jabari Laws was the All-Met Offensive Player of the Year, and DC Touchdown Club Player of the year and accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point!

The boys basketball team was ranked as high as 17th in the nation according to Maxpreps, 4A South Region Champions and Prince George's County Champions!

The wrestling team completed a 13-1 regular season leading to a South County Championship in Prince George's County!

The baseball team reached the Section II Finals in the MD South 4A Region. Anthony Lytton, Jr. was the County Champion in the 100M. I'll just stop there!

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

JG:The AD's role in the community is to serve as a bridge to allow for those in the community to see the great work that is going on in the school athletic department. The AD's job is to also attempt to turn that attention into supporting the school's goals athletically and financially.

CSZ:Wise has a lot of successful sports teams. When you have teams making deep postseason runs and going to states, what is the atmosphere like around the school? How does the athletic department try to enhance that atmosphere?

JG:To be honest, the atmosphere varies from time-to-time. We have kind of gotten spoiled around here with certain sports, so there are times that the atmosphere has been sort of business as usual which can be a blessing and a curse. There are other times when it gets electric like the first time we won the state title in football.

One way that we try to do to enhance the atmosphere is by doing giveaways and making some of the team gear available on websites. We will also be trying a few new things to increase the excitement around what the student athletes are doing.

CSZ:Is there anything exciting or new from the Wise Athletics department that we should be on the look out for?

JG:Not too much that I will share right now. We just want to continue to compete one game/match at a time. Thank you for including me in your spotlight and we wish a great year to the other programs in the state!
July 13th, 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.