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Orange hires McCauley as new AD
Orange hires McCauley as new AD
By TONY LANGE
The Orange School District's new athletic director, Ben McCauley, said his outlook is really fairly simple.
"I want to be an assistant to my coaching staff, to the district, to the boosters, to the community. I want to be as accessible as possible," he said. "I want to provide an opportunity for the students in Orange City Schools to excel and to become not just very well-educated members of society but also add that athletic piece to a lot of people's lives that have really defined who they are. That's really my goal for the district."
Orange school officials announced the hiring of McCauley last week. He will receive a two-year contract from Aug. 1, 2012, through July 31, 2014, with an annual salary of $75,000.
McCauley will fill a vacancy left by Jeff Kurtz, who was hired Aug. 1, 2011, for an annual salary of $79,000 on a three-year contract but resigned Jan. 23, citing personal reasons for his decision.
During the transition period between Kurtz's resignation and McCauley's hiring, two Orange administrators and two teachers have assumed some of the athletic-director responsibilities.
Orange High School Principal Paul Lucas, athletic secretary Audrey Genovese, former athletic director and high school teacher Mark Burkhart and high school teacher Tim Gammell have all pitched in to keep the Lions up to speed, McCauley said.
"The athletic department and the high school, we're going to do the best that we can to renew any kind of faith that needs to be renewed," he said. "We're going to support our coaching staff, and we're going to do the best that we can to get all programs up and going where they need to be. As far as I know, that should not be a problem."
McCauley will arrive at Orange after four years as a social studies teacher at Cuyahoga Falls High School.
He graduated with his bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Akron in 2002 and earned his master's degree in educational administration from Ashland University in the fall of 2011.
McCauley has been looking for administrative positions for about six months, he said.
"Basically, it doesn't take too long to be in the state to know that Orange City Schools is one of the best districts in the state, and that was my appeal," he said. "I wanted to be a part of an exceptional school district, and Orange is that district."
Growing up in Ohio, McCauley graduated in 1997 from Triway High School in Wooster, where he played basketball and competed in track and field at the varsity level, but baseball was his forte, he said.
During his senior year of high school, he was recruited to the University of Kentucky, where he attended college one year before transferring to Akron, he said. He then became a starting pitcher for the Zips from 1999 through 2002.
After receiving his undergraduate degree, McCauley moved to Florida for three years where job opportunities were more plentiful and the baseball scene more promising, he said.
"It's kind of a bounce-around story," McCauley said.
In Pasco County, just north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast, he taught high school classes, coached varsity baseball and conducted private pitching lessons.
From there, McCauley moved to Colorado for two years and took over and ran a construction company before returning to education in Ohio.
Also before returning to Ohio, he had a short stint playing semi-pro baseball in British Columbia, Canada, for the Pacific International League.
As a current homeowner in Akron, McCauley said he is in the process of selling his home in order to be closer to the Orange School District.
"When I take on a job, I feel it needs to be done 110 percent, and, as an athletic director, I need to be on call basically whenever I'm needed, and for me to live in Akron 37.7 miles from the high school at Orange, that would be a real hindrance for me to do my job and do my job well," he said. "So, yes, I will be moving as soon as I get my house sold."
Being able to create relationships and hopefully a sense of trust, not just with co-workers and students but also with parents and community members, is one of his main focuses, McCauley said.
"I've always been a believer that it's best to lead by example," he said. "My first year, my goal is to show the community that I am invested in athletics, that I am invested in Orange students, parents and the community. That's my goal."
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