Atkins set for AD role
John Atkins is getting situated as the new athletic director at Corydon Central High School.
After a stint as the Tell City High School athletic director, the Harrison County native is set to lead the Panthers’ athletic programs.
‘I’m excited about the move and ready to get on top of things,’ Atkins said.
He’s already sat in on one coaching hire, adding Christina Tuchscherer as the Lady Panthers’ varsity volleyball coach. Joe Byrd was recently named the boys’ and girls’ golf coach as well. One varsity coaching position (wrestling) still needs to be filled.
Atkins is a North Harrison High School, Indiana University and University of Louisville graduate. In college, he was a student athletic trainer for the Hoosiers and a graduate athletic assistant for the Cardinals.
‘At Tell City, one of my big things was school spirit,’ Atkins said. ‘A big thing for me would be increasing student attendance at games. I can draw on my experience of working in college and high school athletics to provide a game-day experience. I want to get kids excited to come out and support their friends and classmates.’
Atkins saw some struggling programs at Tell City begin to turn the corner during his three years there. It made him see how fast turnarounds can occur. There was an increased attention to the weight room across all sports, while participation numbers, school spirit and improved work ethic among the Marksmen were noticeable.
‘It’s not like Corydon needs to be turned around,’ Atkins said. ‘We finished third in boys’ and girls’ (All Mid-Southern Conference) standings. Right now, it has been swimming and running sports leading the way. I want us to be successful in all our sports. If we are going to have a sport here, I want us to be good at it.’
Atkins said he will be equally supportive of each program.
‘I’ll be at swim meets, tennis matches, golf matches … I want our coaches and kids to know I’m not just a person in the athletic office; I’m here for all sports,’ he said.
One area Atkins is currently seeking out is an apparel deal with a major shoe/apparel company to outfit players on game day.
‘It’s pretty exciting,’ Atkins said. ‘The first step I want to do is create an identity and unity. We will have consistent colors across all sports. It looks good when your whole school is walking around in the same brand and color uniforms. It will take three years to get the new uniforms for each sport.’
Other areas of interest include reviving the booster club and starting an alumni club.
‘We want to connect alumni with what is going on along with financially support our current (programs),’ Atkins said.
Atkins had set up a meeting with high school coaches prior to the school year to start outlining his ideas. To go along with the physical identity through uniforms, Atkins seeks commitment and hard work from coaches and student athletes.
‘We want to transition to bottom-to-top programs,’ he said. ‘I want our coaches and our high school athletes involved with our junior high, elementary and youth leagues. I want us to have a presence there so their parents have the understanding they are not just on a team, they are part of a program feeding to the high school. It helps build commitment and community pride in what they are doing.’
Atkins said he wants to target facility upgrades as well but wants to settle in before identifying what has the most need.
If interested in assisting the booster club or joining the alumni club, call the athletic office at 812-738-6155.