Former Memorial AD Kurth looks forward to new position
Posted: 07/01/2013 at 5:25 pm
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Memorial athletic director Frank Kurth and his head coach Mike Hartnett watch the doubles play in the 2012 boys tennis sectional was hosted by Concord Wednesday afternoon September 26,2012. In the first round Central took on Memorial and Concord played Northridge with the winners meeting for the title today. ¬ (Truth Photo By Larry Tebo)
ELKHART — Frank Kurth had spent most of his life in athletics. First he was an athlete, then a coach and, finally, an athletic director.
The man who was hired as AD at Elkhart Memorial High School in July 2002 after playing football at Elkhart Central and Ball State University and coaching the sport at several locales — the college gigs being Indiana University twice, Toledo, Miami (Ohio), Kent State, West Virginia and Northern Illinois — has decided to accept a new challenge and has changed positions at the school
Kurth, after receiving his certification, including 20 hours of coursework and a four-hour Praxis test, has joined Mark Tobolski’s administrative team and is an assistant principal along with Cary Anderson, Bernadette Taylor and JeNeva Adams.
“As things evolved for me professionally, it just seemed like the right thing to do,” said Kurth.
After stops along the college football coaching trail that kept his young family moving, the son of Indiana Football Hall of Famer and long-time Elkhart/Central coach Tom Kurth took what turned out to be the longest professional assignment of his career with the Crimson Chargers.
“It was nice to hit and stick and make a run like we did,” said Kurth. “I was fortunate to have good coaches and good talent. It was a fun opportunity to be around.”
Kurth grew to see his job as AD as a support system for the people running the programs.
“I wanted to be there to help our coaches,” said Kurth. “It was important for our coaches to have the autonomy to run their own programs.
“I really tried to give our coaches that kind of latitude and support them in that effort.
“Kind of like a well-officiated contest, I always felt like I was doing my job best when nobody noticed.”
As AD, Kurth did miss the chance to do something that coaches do — build relationships with student-athletes.
“I always enjoyed relating to the kids,” said Kurth of his coaching days. “That’s what I’m looking forward to in this role. (Kids) is what we’re in this whole thing for.”
Kurth got his first experience as a principal when he, in conjunction with Tobolski, accepted superintendent Rob Haworth’s invitation to be summer school principal. Summer school in Elkhart is traditionally housed at Memorial and run alternately by administrators from Memorial and Central. It was Memorial’s turn this year.
Kurth said he looks forward to working not only with Tobolski and his team, but with former basketball coach Haworth.
“He has a great vision not just for Elkhart Community Schools, but for Elkhart the city as a whole,” said Kurth of Haworth. “He’s the head ball coach. He knows how to put personnel where he thinks they can be effective.
“I’m excited I can be one of those pieces for him.”
Given the time of the year, Kurth expects that the opening for Memorial AD will be filled relatively quickly. The job has already been posted.
Kurth said his being in the building and Phyllis Tubbs returning as assistant athletic director will help ease the transition for the new hire.