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Ringgold may fill AD post Tuesday

| Monday, March 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Less than two months after opening the position — and with a vacancy for head football coach needing to be addressed soon — the Ringgold school board is expected to vote on the athletic director post at a special meeting Tuesday.

On Jan. 15, the board voted to open the positions of athletic director and director of transportation. The move came despite considerable support for Ron McMichael, the district's athletic director for more than 2½ years.

Board President Mariann Bulko said she believes there are five votes for McMichael. Bulko said she will be “a yes vote” for McMichael.

In January, Superintendent Dr. Karen Polkabla said McMichael and transportation director James Kester could re-apply for their positions. Polkabla recommended the board actions opening the positions.

Hired in June 2010, McMichael was named to replace then-Athletic Director Lloyd Price.

Last week, Rams head football coach Matt Humbert was hired for the same post with Belle Vernon Area.

Director Chris Carroll acknowledged that he was on the fence about the athletic director's position until recently.

“We had a couple of good candidates,” Carroll said. “There were a couple of things that leaned me toward Ron and a couple of things which leaned me away from Ron.”

He intends to recommend a new two-year pact for McMichael.

“I'm in favor of Ron having another two-year contract,” Carroll said.

Carroll said once it becomes apparent one candidate has a majority of the board, most of the directors will fall in line, adding, “the last thing we want to do is embarrass someone.”

“I don't think it's going to be as split as everyone thinks it is,” said Carroll, elaborating that he believes that opinion would favor McMichael's chances of returning. “But I've learned over the years that it's not over until the vote comes in.”

Maureen Ott, a member of the board's athletic committee, said she has a preference for one of the other candidates, but declined to specify.

“I believe we have interviewed candidates who are more highly qualified than (McMichael),” Ott said.

Director Larry Mauro declined to discuss his preference, adding, “I'll speak at the meeting.”

Reached Sunday night, McMichael declined to speak until after Tuesday's meeting.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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