Greg Jahde

Newly named East Butler Athletic Director Greg Jahde poses for a picture outside the dugout at the David City ball fields on July 29. Jahde takes over for Dave Struebing, who had been in the position for the past 17 years.

Greg Jahde has held many titles during his nine-year tenure at East Butler. He's the head coach of the softball and boys basketball teams, teaches secondary physical education and health and was the assistant athletic director up through last year. 

This summer, Jahde added to that long list with the most administrative role he's held with the Tigers - the new East Butler director of athletics.

Dave Struebing had been the athletic director since 2002 before retiring after 40 years of working in the East Butler school district. 

Jahde will continue to coach softball and boys basketball and teach, while assuming the responsibilities of AD. 

"That was one of the things when we were discussing who was going to take over that role, they approached me about it and I was certainly interested in it but at the same time I wasn’t willing to give up softball or basketball yet," Jahde said. "I still enjoy doing that. Talking to a few people, they thought I was capable of taking on a little bit more and still be able to perform the duties that I was doing." 

While the title may be new, Jahde gained experience while working as the assistant athletic director. He was responsible for cross country and basketball. 

"Really now, I’m going to be taking on a couple more sports and we’re bringing in an assistant to help me," Jahde said. "We just kind of delegated a few responsibilities of who’s going to be responsible for what. It’s a matter of taking on a couple more sports and making sure that I’m at a few more games than I was before if that’s possible. I’m at quite a few things any ways." 

Being involved as an assistant athletic director was something that Jahde felt comfortable doing, which makes sense seeing he comes from a family that has administrative history. 

"That was a role that my dad filled when he was in education," Jahde said. "I kind of grew up around it, and being around him performing that duty, peeked my interest anyways. Being assistant athletic director already, it felt natural to me. It was definitely something I was interested in.

"When I was working on getting my master’s degree in secondary administration, I kind of geared it (toward) and looked at it more of becoming an athletic director, more so than a principal because the athletic director side intrigues me a little bit more right now." 

With the new job, comes some new challenges that Jahde looks forward to tackling. 

"I think getting to know what goes on behind the scenes of a few more sports than maybe I haven’t had to do as much with in the past," Jahde said. "Just the everyday, day-to-day things that need to go on. Learning a few of those things will be a challenge and learning maybe to delegate a little bit more.

"I’m one that likes to try to just take things on myself. Coming to the conclusion that I do need other people’s help to make sure that this happens. I think those are probably the two biggest things. My background in sports I think will help me quite a bit along the way."

Jahde also learned the ropes from a former, long-time AD.

Jahde mentioned that Struebing helped him understand some of the ins and outs of the profession. 

"(He taught me) a lot of the responsibilities, things that go on behind the scenes," Jahde said. "All the little things that people either just take for granted or don’t even think about that need to be taken care of before the games start. A lot of things are done using technology now as far as game contracts and scheduling and things like that." 

While the new job may mean spending even more time at East Butler, Jahde is looking forward to being able to positively impact students in ever more ways. 

"I’m looking forward to taking on this role," Jahde said. "Sometimes it feels like you spend more time at the school than you do at your own house and this may exacerbate that a little bit more.

"I may be spending more time there at the school, but you go into this kind of role knowing that it’s for the kids and that’s why I went into education in the first place, is because working with kids. I think this is just one more thing that I can do to help the kids out and have enjoyable experience for the four years that they’re in high school." 

On top of being able to impact more students, Jahde will have more personal interactions with students due to the size of the student body. 

"I’m fortunate enough that I get along with almost all the kids in the school and I see them in my own classes," he said. "I see them walking around out in the hallways. I coach multiple sports. I’m involved with a lot of kids throughout the day. I watch one of the lunches that we have. It gives me great opportunity to sit down and have real conversations with the kids.

"I think they enjoy seeing you be just a person, rather than just a teacher. They feel like they can come up to you and have a real conversation or are comfortable talking to you if they have a problem. That’s definitely something that happens at East Butler, where maybe at a bigger school the AD is in an office and you don’t see them as much until a game arrives. Throughout the whole day, the kids come into contact with me and vice versa. It’s a unique opportunity."

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net

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