By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
Greg Wyant joined an elite national group of interscholastic athletic administrators when he completed the requirements to earn the distinction of being a Certified Athletic Administrator.
Wyant is the first athletic director in Rutherford County to earn the certification from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. After retiring as the head football coach, Wyant has focused on his duties as athletic director at Siegel High School.
“There’s a real responsibility, especially in the litigious society that we live in,” Wyant said. “There is a lot of accountability. … It’s something that really needs to be looked at very closely and how we handle our athletic administrations around the county.”
Wyant is the son of a college football coach.
He was born in Wichita, Kansas, relocated several times while growing up mostly in the Southeast and eventually graduated from White County High School in Sparta, Tennessee. He attended Middle Tennessee State University and began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Riverdale High School.
After leaving for one year, Wyant returned to Riverdale in 1994, moved to Smyrna High for a year in 2007 and then arrived at Siegel in 2008 as the defensive coordinator. He became the head coach in 2010 until he resigned in 2016.
As athletic director, Wyant is involved in all aspects of Siegel High athletics including game management responsibilities — making sure the gym and various playing fields are ready, clocks and scoreboards are working properly along with PA systems and scoring tables — and promotes the program through their website and Twitter account.
Wyant recently talked about his certification and the future role of athletic directors.
RCS: Can you describe for me the certification? What got you interested in pursuing it?
WYANT: I’ve been an athletic director here (since) 2010. And since I’ve resigned as head (football) coach three years ago, I’ve been the athletic director here for the last three years without any coaching duties. I attended our National Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association seminar last spring and really found it very interesting. … There are some aspects of it that I think sometimes we take for granted. I was interested to find out how different schools ran their athletic departments and trying to figure out how to make our athletic department the best we could make it.
RCS: What was your takeaway?
WYANT: My takeaway is that athletics is a huge responsibility as far as scheduling, supervision, liability that’s involved. There’s just a lot that goes into eligibility, the students, being accountable to your players and your parents, how to handle your parents. There’s just a lot of things that go into this. A lot of different aspects of it.
RCS: You were a coach for so long and then you were the coach and athletic director. Now you’re focusing on being athletic director. What is your aspiration?
WYANT: To create the best athletic department in our school that we can create. Mr. Creasy has been very supportive in my role here. He’s allowed me to go achieve the certification of a Certified Athletic Administrator and he’s done a great job of really pushing me and supporting me to be able to do that. But, in turn, I also want to support him and help Siegel have the best athletic department in the county. Now I want to do things to be able to get our coaches on board together, pulling for each other in a one school type atmosphere.
RCS: When you say things, what are the things?
WYANT: Educate coaches about some of the pitfalls they could fall into on a daily basis. For instance, supervision, handling parents, handling students that may be struggling in your program, being able to help with scheduling, eligibility, parent meetings, running tournaments, being an administrator at ballgames — ticket-takers, announcers, there’s just a bevy of lists of things that needs to be done.
RCS: How are you a better administrator today than you were before starting the certification?
WYANT: I had to take six courses to get certified — I took four online and two in-person — and the courses really brought to light to me the liability that we have with our students. Also, the liability that we have with our facilities and the upkeep of our facilities. Those types of things. It really brought to life … how to really try to get an athletic staff or an athletic department to try to be on the same team and helping each other out and pulling for each other instead of against each other.