Joe Wood (back row, first from left) is the new Fallon athletics director and will also oversee academics and facilities in the revamped vice principal role.
After being thrust into taking over the Fallon boys soccer program in the middle of last season, Joe Wood guided the Greenwave to a strong finish despite missing out on the postseason.
Now, Wood will oversee not just the boys soccer program, but the entire Greenwave athletics department after he became the school’s vice principal and athletics director. Brad Daum, the previous athletics director for more than two decades, retired after this last school year.
“Joe's desire to make improvements in areas that help students succeed and his willingness to put in the time to make those changes was a common theme amongst the interview committee,” CCHS Principal Tim Spencer said. “Joe also brings a mindset of high expectations and support for all stakeholders involved with our student-athletes.”
Unlike his processor, Wood will also be the vice principal and oversee athletics, activities and facilities, a change that will be in line with school administration duties.
“While Joe won't immediately be expected to evaluate staff, that is a duty he will be expected to do after he has established himself as AD,” Spencer said. “He will also work directly with student-athletes regarding discipline and eligibility and will apply matrix discipline per administration guidelines. Finally, this position is becoming an integral part of the admin team, so it made sense to title it that way.”
For Wood, his top goal is to support the student-athletes.
“For me it is important to understand that these students are each on a pathway to life after graduation and I want to help facilitate whatever their pathways may be,” said Wood, who will be assisted by Matt Reibsamen and has a new athletics secretary, Maile Munoz. “I think it is also very important to see our student-athletes as individuals that bring pride to CCSD and the entire community of Fallon. I want them to all be proud of what they are doing and their accomplishments not only as athletes, but as students. I want to instill the belief among these young student-athletes that they can succeed and make a difference and lay down the groundwork for a positive culture and sense of Greenwave and Fallon pride that brims with confidence.”
Additionally, Wood wants to strengthen the athletics department’s involvement in the community, which has supported the Greenwave each season as seen by the many sponsorship banners on campus.
“Another goal of mine is to grow the athletics department at CCHS as well as strengthen community involvement through athletics and activities,” Wood added. “I want to showcase the amazing things happening at CCHS not only to out faculty and student, but our community and beyond.”
Wood anticipates challenges as he gets comfortable in the new position.
“I am excited and feel confident in my abilities to excel in this position, but I know each day will present a new challenge and with that I will work each day to get better and grow,” Wood said. “I know there are things I will do well, and things I will need to learn. Many of those things I will have to learn as I go, but that is all part of taking on any new position. In the short term, it will be a challenge for me to navigate the hills and valleys that come with this position. Mr. Daum played a bigger role at CCHS than many people even realize. He always seemed to be working behind the scenes to make things happen, so filling his shoes will be a challenge, but the staff at CCHS is amazing and many of them have already offered their help and support.”
Since Wood oversees more than athletics, he wants to also partner the community with activities, like Career Technical Student Organization. He’s aware of the city’s involvement and support and is excited about the potential to bring more light to these activities.
“I know in the past, the City of Fallon has used our facilities for large events and there was great feedback from the community and those who have come out of town,” Wood said. “So, I am always open to having that conversation with any organization or business in town that would like to use any of our facilities. They are excellent and there is nothing that makes me happier than being able to share them. If anyone is interested, all they have to do is reach out to me and I would be more than happy to work with them.”
Wood, who came to Fallon in 2017 and taught math and drafting, hopes to take advantage of his previous experience. Finding the perfect balancing while creating a foundation for the student-athletes and helping the coaches understand the development process is Wood’s passion.
“There are a few things I feel can be adapted to fit Churchill County and I am excited to bring them to the table,” Wood said. “I hope by doing this that Churchill County can be the best place for our student-athletes to thrive both in and out of athletics. If I can help lay a solid foundation for these students, the rest will come. It is about finding a perfect balance of teaching these kids how to be the best they can be on and off the field or court. It is also about getting our coaching staff on board with understanding that we are a big part of developing these kids for the future. Athletically, socially, academically and emotionally. I have some plans to be sure that the entire athletic department is understanding this and supporting our student-athletes in all aspects of their young lives.”
After Daum’s final project closed in the spring when a new video scoreboard was installed at the football field, Wood said there are also plans to resurface the track. The scoreboards inside the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium and at the baseball field are also in need of replacing.
With the new board at the football field, though, it opens a new door for revenue for the school.
“The new scoreboard is awesome, and we are excited to use it for a variety of things,” Wood said. “We have plans for sponsorship and advertisement placements on the board along with some other fun ideas we have had for ways we can use it.”
Wood also said that the school’s video production/multimedia communications class curriculum will also give students an opportunity to display advertisements by working with local businesses. Once training and the process have been solidified, the school will reach out to the public.
“These students will gain knowledge and understand the process of selling advertisements, creating them and publishing them,” Wood added. “That is all being developed as a part of that class curriculum, and we are excited to see what will come out of it because this opportunity will bring revenue into CCHS. As with anything new, we want to make sure that the appropriate staff is fully trained on using the technology. There is a certain time commitment that comes with training.”