Athletic Director Steve Rockrohr resigns

Maggie Baumstark, co-editor-in-chief

Former Athletic Director Steve Rockrohr resigned from District 225 and the Glenbrook 225 School Board unanimously approved his resignation in a meeting on Sept. 22. The district placed Rockrohr on a nearly month-long leave of absence, Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel said, starting in late August.

Rockrohr was placed on leave while the district conducted an investigation, although the reasons for the leave or investigation could not be disclosed due to employee privacy agreements, Fagel said. In an email to The Daily Herald, Karen Geddeis, District 225 director of public relations and communications, emphasized that the details of the investigation will remain undisclosed.

“As an educational institution, we have a responsibility to uphold strong values of respect and dignity,” her email wrote. “We believe that every person deserves to be treated in this manner, and we work diligently to create an inclusive culture that supports these values.”

Rockrohr’s resignation created an opening that will be filled by an Interim Athletic Director for the remainder of the school year, Fagel said. In December, the process will begin to select a permanent Athletic Director whose tenure will begin July 2021.

Fagel informed the Board on Sept. 29 that Andy Turner, former Maine South athletic director, was selected as the Interim Athletic Director. Turner retired this past June, Fagel said, giving him both familiarity with the role and the complexities of Covid-19.

“We are very excited to have Mr. Turner,” Fagel said. “He has a lot of experience with high school athletics and the Central Suburban League (CSL).  We look forward to students, coaches and parents getting to know him.”

Thomas Mietus, assistant athletic director, believes Turner’s extensive Athletic Director experience will be beneficial for navigating the remainder of the school year.

“With the situation as it is, I feel like we have a really qualified [person] to come in and help finish up this year — a year that’s pretty different,” Mietus said. “[Turner] is experienced and has worked through some of the things we’re working through now.”

During Rockrohr’s leave and pending the announcement of an interim, Mietus took on a lot of the responsibilities assigned to the Athletic Director. Turner began work on Sept. 29, Fagel said, taking over the responsibilites that Mietus temporaily picked up.

“[The Athletic Director] is really the leader when it comes to coaches,” Mietus said. “Communication between [administration, community and coaches] is the biggest thing that I’ve kind of taken on. I was never named an interim—I just picked up the duties and did the job day by day to make sure that we as a department were continuing to move forward.”

Despite Rockrohr’s resignation, complicated IHSA schedule changes and Covid-19 regulations, Mietus commends the Athletic Department’s flexibility and resilience.

“Our coaches are really the ones who have done such a tremendous job of rolling with the punches,” Mietus said. “There are many different things that they’ve had to do, and they haven’t complained about it. If there’s one thing we’ve done well, it’s being able to adjust and adapt and do what we have to do to make it work.”