Tkach Looks Back On First Year As AD

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By Kevin Eickman

With his first year as athletic director in the books, Milford LIVE took the chance to catch up with Milford’s Mike Tkach. In a year that saw Milford have several strong teams and even win a championship in wrestling, much of the conversation centered on the challenges that lay ahead.

Discussing his first year, Tkach described a year filled with challenges and learning. “There was a tremendous learning curve as an athletic director,” Tkach commented. “Not only are you taking care of athletics at the high school, but you’re taking care of the middle school as well.”

Tkach quickly learned who the biggest enemy of an athletic director is, as one of the harshest weather years in memory played havoc on the schedule. “You quickly learn that rain, snow and ice are your enemies,” Tkach said. “There is a lot of work that has to be done when you reschedule a game, bus companies, opponents, coaches and players all need to be kept in the loop.”

One of the added job responsibilities that Tkach has had to deal with, was the added hours to his work day. “When I was just doing the trainers work I was out the door pretty quickly after an event, but now I am the last one out the door,” Tkach said. “It’s very important that everything is put away and secure before you can head home.”

 

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Taking a look at how the Milford teams fared this season, Tkach was generally pleased with the performance. “There were so many different things to be pleased with this past year, starting with wining the State Championship in wresting,” stated Tkach. “We came in second place to Delmar for the founders cup, we were right there at the end, they just beat us out by a fraction of a point.”

Challenges on the horizon

If his first year was tough, his second will no doubt present huge challenges going forward. Back in March, Milford residents voted down a 2.1 million dollar operational referendum. With out the added funds Tkach has already begun to see the effects on the districts athletic programs. “We lost a large amount of money from our athletic budget and it is really going to put a strain on us,” Tkach commented. “We have a few programs that we may have to shed as well as losing a few coaching positions.”

Losing money for assistant coaching positions could put quite a strain on some sports. “An assistant coach didn’t make a whole lot of money to begin with, now we are asking them to take less or none at all,” said Tkach. “Generally, an assistant coach is going to put in more than 20 hours a week, it’s hard to find quality people that can do that kind of work for free.”

Another task for Milford next year will be the loss of some long time coaches. Basketball coach B.J. Joseph, soccer coach Ken Outten and track and field coach Czar Bloom will no longer be at the school when the new school year begins. “For some people it was just the right time to leave, there were a number of factors involved, but in the end they made the decision that was best for them and their families,” Tkach stated. “When you look at these three individuals, it’s such a blow to lose quality people like this. They weren’t just coaches, these are educators that will be difficult to replace.”