Former Athletic Trainer and Associate Athletic Director Chuck Richard has become the Interim Athletic Director, replacing Former Athletic Director Carolyn Polley, who stepped down from the role beginning with her maternity leave this spring. Next year Ms. Polley will return to the Nicholas Athletic Center with reduced responsibilities, working with the admission team and continuing to help implement the recommendations of the athletic department review completed by the school in January of last year. Mr. Richard will remain the school Athletic Director for the 2017-18 academic year.
Why do you like BB&N?
We have hard-working, talented students who serve the school well not only athletically, but also academically. Our students are disciplined to study hard, work hard, and make BB&N a better place. We always talk about building the community, and the students are essential to that by participating in athletics, playing in homecoming events, and acting in the play. Students are really the ones that define the community; it’s their school. We just work here. And with kids who strive for academic and athletic
excellence, my job is easier.
Why did you want to be the Interim Athletic Director?
I’ve been here for 12 years, and I felt ready to manage the department—I’ve had experience as an athletic trainer and an associate athletic director, I’ve done admission
interviews, and I’ve served on one admission committee. I knew all the moving parts of the athletic department, which involve meeting budget needs, hiring coaches, helping students balance athletic requirements with school work, communicating with parents and other ISL schools, and working closely with the athletic staff and admission directors. Also, being a BB&N parent to Taylor Richard ’14 showed me what it means to be a student here and what the challenges of balancing the workload, academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities are. To be a good athletic director, you need to have good communication skills campus-wide—with admission, Lower School, Middle School (MS), Upper School, business office, parents, students, and all coaches and athletic staff. I think I have those qualities.
What are your goals for the department?
Last year we went through a review that had 56 recommendations for the department. The majority of these recommendations were in four categories: short-term projects, ‘mid-term projects, long-term projects, and TBA. Some of the short-term recommendations included reviewing the athletic requirement and the waiver policy and increasing the number of faculty coaches. Ms. Polley accomplished a variety of things, such as restructuring the current staff, introducing an associate athletic director of the MS,
improving lines of communication throughout the campuses, and naming a director for health and physical education. I hope to continue implementing the recommendations in the review, and the most important part of my position is to make sure our day-to-day operations are running efficiently.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love seeing our students working hard during practice, going to club meetings, and balancing rigorous academics. Game days are also one of my favorite parts of the job. It is incredibly rewarding to see our students during game days because they are the reason why we are here. It’s great to win championships and all, but that’s not the big picture. The big picture is to see our students having a positive high school experience and competing as hard as they can to the best of their individual abilities.