Heading into the fall semester without an athletic director, Clovis High School is hoping a longtime presence can help relieve some of the workload on administrative staff.
Darren Kelley, an assistant football coach and the boys track coach at CHS, was named the assistant athletic director for the Class 5A school on Friday.
Kelley, a 1986 graduate of Clovis High School, said he will cut back on some teaching duties and will continue his coaching duties. He has been a member of Eric Roanhaus' football staff for 21 seasons, and will enter his 22nd this fall.
"Basically, this person, once we get a full-slate athletic director and assistant, will be handling all the sub-varsity athletics at the freshman academy and the junior highs," Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Terry Myers said. "All the teams at the high school would be under the athletic director."
Myers, reached on Friday afternoon, did not immediately recall the amount of Kelley's stipend for the new position.
The athletic director position has been vacant since May, when Brian Stacy resigned following what Myers has only referred to as a disciplinary issue with the CHS baseball team. The position was posted, but Myers declined to fill it due to a limited candidate field.
The search will open again later in the year, Myers said, with the intent to bring an athletic director aboard at semester.
Kelley did apply for the position, but Myers said a lack of administrative certification was an issue. Myers said Kelley's experience in the assistant position will help him in future application processes, but noted that Kelley would still be bound to acquire certification.
In any case, Myers said having Kelley aboard will help Deputy Superintendent of Operations Jody Balch, who is absorbing athletic director duties in the interim.
"He's a longtime coach here, he's well-respected by the NMAA," Myers said. "He's lived here his entire life. Darren makes a great candidate for moving into an athletic director or assistant athletic director's position."
The Clovis school system current has a freshman academy and two middle schools, Marshall and Yucca, with Gattis Middle School joining the system in the 2013-14 school year.
Kelley noted that "one of the biggest things right now is being able to get some coaches that are in the classroom, as opposed to contract coaches." While there will always be a role for contract coaches at a school of Clovis' size, Kelley said it's better to fill a coaching and a teaching position at the same time.