ELMHURST — After an unstable period in the athletic department at York, the Dukes have a new athletic director that hopes to usher in a new era.
The school board confirmed Ron Murphy for the position at a meeting Tuesday night.
Murphy, who will begin his new post July 1, is currently a social studies teacher and assistant athletic director at Oswego East.
"He is highly recommended by his principal and by well-respected athletic directors in our area," said Principal Diana Smith in a release to York families.
The Lisle High School graduate is clearly excited about the opportunity.
“It’s a nice move for myself and my family because it’s a great community at York,” Murphy said. “You couldn’t ask for much more and they’ve got this rich athletic tradition, which all really appealed to me.”
The selection process involved an initial screening of 12 candidates, and four finalists were presented to an interview committee.
Murphy said one of his strengths is communicating well with people and that helped him impress during the interview process. An athletic director has to coordinate a large number of people and teams, and the high volume of coaching moves at York in recent years hasn't helped in that regard.
“I think stability is something you always look for," Murphy said. "The other consideration you have to make is that people are going to move on. They’re going to have opportunities to better themselves and their families.”
Murphy will work with interim athletic directors Washington Bush and Mike Morris to ease the transition.
“In a perfect world I'm going to hit the ground running when July 1 rolls around," Murphy said. "I'm going to be there when time allows over the next couple weeks.”
Murphy has been with Oswego East since 2005 and was the head varsity boys basketball coach this season. He was an assistant boys basketball coach from 2008-2012. He served as assistant football coach from 2005-2010. He held the same position at Lisle from 1999-2005.
In addition to coaching duties, Murphy was the assistant athletic director starting in 2010.
He said he doesn't plan to coach at York and will miss that, but still being able to watch the kids in action will help make up for it.
“I think given the size of the athletics program it wouldn’t be conducive to coaching," Murphy said. "Fortunately I'm still going to get to have those great experiences because we do host a lot of events at York."
He looks back on his high school athletic career in high regard and hopes to facilitate growth in York's students through athletics so they can have the same experiences he did.
“I think high school sports and extracurriculars in general are so important to the development of our kids," Murphy said. "I think they help give them the life skills that help them succeed as they move on.”