New Chartiers Valley AD brings experience from Pittsburgh Public
Michael Gavlik plans to go all in at Chartiers Valley as he starts his role as the district’s new athletic director.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” said Gavlik, 43, who has worked as the director of athletics for Pittsburgh Public Schools since 2005. He will start in Chartiers Valley on Oct. 14.
“I’m just ready to get there and get the work started,” he said.
Gavlik will fill the role left vacated when five-year Chartiers Valley athletic director Angie Potthoff took a position at the University of Notre Dame as the director of operations for women’s basketball in August.
“Chartiers Valley is excited to have Micheal Gavlik join us as athletic director,” Superintendent Johannah Vanatta said in an email, noting his experience and leadership stood out to the interview team. “His understanding of high school sports and the needs of students and coaches clearly made him the best fit for us.”
Gavlik has been involved in sports his entire life. As a high school athlete at West Mifflin, he recalls playing Chartiers Valley back in the days when the district had a grass field instead of today’s turf.
Gavlik worked as a physical education teacher in Pittsburgh Public Schools from 1999 to 2003. He then was promoted to manager of athletics in the district, a role he held until 2005.
He was excited about the opportunity to come to Chartiers Valley.
“It was an opportunity. … A great school district to be a part of,” he said. “It was an opportunity for me to see a different side of athletics than what I have been accustomed to.”
In Pittsburgh Public, he oversaw the athletics for seven high schools and 22 middle schools.
There he was “a jack-of-all-trades,” helping with everything from facilities upgrades to working to build participation at the middle-school level.
Gavlik’s first goal at Chartiers Valley is to get to know the community and immerse himself into the school district, he said.
“I think they go hand-in-hand,” he said. “If you have strong support from the community and the youth groups and youth athletic programs, then I think that helps to build within your school community and your school athletic program.”
Gavlik said he thinks Chartiers Valley already has “a very great program.”
“I’m just looking to see if I can take it to the next level,” he said.
At the middle school, he will look at participation and how that can be improved. At the varsity and junior varsity levels, it’s about getting better and “just see how far we can take it,” he said.
“I do believe that it’s about getting the students to achieve as much as they can with their talent level,” he said. If students want to be a part of a college program, he wants to work with them to find a way to make it happen.
Gavlik wants to teach students to be leaders. And he wants them to know that he is there whenever they need him.
“We’re going to be their biggest supporters and we’re going to be there for them all the time,” he said. “Whatever they need.”