Valley's interim AD aims to provide stability
After being hired as Valley's interim athletic director Thursday night, Mark Kaczanowicz said he could bring stability to a position that has been filled by three other people in the past two years.
"I really believe I can make a difference," said Kaczanowicz, set to begin his duties as AD on Monday. "Hopefully, I'll enjoy the job, do well at it, and the school board will be pleased with it."
He'll be replacing former AD Frank Campbell, who was suspended indefinitely in November by the New Kensington-Arnold School District amid allegations of making large athletic purchases without board permission, purchase orders or competitive bids.
Kaczanowicz, 55, believes part of his job will be to help restore Valley's image.
"We have to start restoring our credibility, not only within the community but in the WPIAL," he said.
Now entering his third year as a health and physical education teacher at Valley Middle School, Kaczanowicz has over 30 years of experience teaching and leading student-athletes.
Before coming to the New Kensington-Arnold School District, he spent nine years teaching at Indiana -- which included a three-year stint as the school's head football coach. Prior to that, Kaczanowicz had a four-year turn as a coach and AD at Freeport. He also spent seven years in Florida, teaching and coaching at three different schools.
"I enjoy coaching, and I like the perspective of being an athletic director who has been a coach," said Kaczanowicz, also Valley's ninth-grade football coach. "I like the model that they're putting in place with the athletic director, where I am a teacher in the district, and I'll have a modified teaching schedule that will allow me to do the athletic director's job."
In his many years around high school athletics, Kaczanowicz said much has changed when it comes to dealing with athletes, their families and the myriad of tasks that come with being an AD.
"Technology is big now. Things are so much easier for communications, scheduling," he said. "But I think the personal aspect is still important. I have a pretty good relationship with (WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley). I've known him since he was a high school coach."