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Rockrohr named Athletic Director of the Year

Best in State: Holding his award, Athletic Director Steve Rockrohr poses for a photo. He was named Athletic Director of the Year at the IADA awards banquet in May. Photo Courtesy of the Glenbrook South website.

Best in State: Holding his award, Athletic Director Steve Rockrohr poses for a photo. He was named Athletic Director of the Year at the IADA awards banquet in May. Photo Courtesy of the Glenbrook South website.

Isabella Albrecht, staff reporter

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GBS Athletic Director Steve Rockrohr was named the 2016-2017 Class 3A/4A Athletic Director of the Year by the Illinois Athletic Director’s Association (IADA). He was presented with the award at the IADA awards banquet on May 6.

According to Steve Stanicek, physical education instructional supervisor, the recent success of athletics at GBS and Rockrohr’s work for the IADA are likely the factors that earned him the title of Athletic Director of the year.

“[Rockrohr] has been involved with a number of additions to the athletic program, the success of the women’s basketball program, the success of the women’s gymnastics program this year… and he’s been a part of all the hiring for head coaches for all of the different programs,” Stanicek said.

Rockrohr said that the process for winning Athletic Director of the Year began with a nomination by a fellow athletic director.

“You get nominated at your district level, then you have to win an election at the division level,” Rockrohr said. “It then goes to a committee of leaders of the IADA and they choose from there.”

According to Dr. Jim Shellard, assistant principal of student activities, Rockrohr’s goal of a positive overall experience for student-athletes and his ability to see the “big picture” is what sets him apart from other athletic directors.

“Some athletic directors are thinking athletics only,” Shellard said. “[Rockrohr understands] that there are other pieces to the school… and he helps to promote and encourage those.”

Meaghan Fastert, head cross country and track coach, said Rockrohr has always helped her see the “big picture”, even during her first interview as head coach. According to Fastert, she told Rockrohr that her goal for the season was to win conference, and Rockrohr asked her if she thought the kids would enjoy the season if all she cared about was winning.

“I never thought about that,” Fastert said. “In terms of seeing the big picture, I was very narrow-minded in that answer. [Rockrohr taught me] the big picture is making goals for them that not only have to do with times, but maybe something they want out of their life. At the end of the day, you’re teaching them life skills, you’re not just teaching them about a mile or 800 [meter run]… you want them walking away from the season loving what they did and being proud of themselves.”

In addition to helping coaches see the “big picture”, Shellard said Rockrohr goes above and beyond to create the best environment possible for student athletes.

“He takes a very proactive role with the parents association to try and create funding for various programs that the athletes can utilize, like the turf field, the upcoming concession stand and bathrooms at the field, and the new gym floor going in.”

According to Rockrohr, while these additions to the athletic department are important, the most important decisions he makes involve coaches. Rockrohr explained that he tries to hire coaches who can help the student-athletes grow both in their sport and as a human being.

“I want kids to have a positive growing experience,” Rockrohr said. “That doesn’t mean it’s all candy and flowers. Some days are hard and some days the kids have to work and work and work with very little immediate results, but I want the coaches to make it a positive experience where [the student athletes] look back and they grow from it and they say, ‘I’m really happy I was a part of that program.’”

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Rockrohr named Athletic Director of the Year