McLeod named North Central athletic director
POWERS — Recently, North Central Schools have seen athletic directors come and go for multiple reasons.
Randall McLeod, a former North Central attendee, takes over the position this year in an attempt to stabilize and improve the athletics program.
“We’re going to hit the ground running,” McLeod said. “Really, this year I’ll just sit back and observe and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. We’re just going to see where our strengths are and continue with those and try to start identifying our weaknesses. You definitely don’t want to come in like a bull in a china shop just changing everything. We have a lot of things that work right now, so we’re just going to have to correct the things we want to correct.”
Despite being involved in sports, McLeod doesn’t have a lot of coaching experience, but he believes his background with management will serve him, and North Central, well.
“I’ve pretty much been in management for the last 25 years, working with people and polishing my interpersonal skills,” he said. “You’re dealing with coaches and parents and that kind of thing (as an athletic director).”
North Central’s previous athletic director, Tony Adams, left the position because of an opportunity that opened in Norway, where he’s from.
“That’s why I wanted to keep this local and keep it with someone who’s going to be here for a long time,” McLeod said. “Tony did a good job, but his heart was in Norway.
“I wanted a person who’s passionate about North Central. Basically kindergarten through high school (I attended North Central), except for a sophomore year in Arizona. I’ve got five kids, my (oldest) daughter just graduated this year from North Central, and I have a son who’s going to be an incoming sophomore, a daughter who’s moving into the eighth grade, a son that’s going into kindergarten and a two-year-old.”
McLeod already started stepping into the position’s shoes, despite being selected officially just recently.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I was on the field this morning at 6:00 with the football team.”
Even with the turnover, there is a constant in the North Central athletic department: Riley O’Neil.
“He’s really been the backbone of that athletic department for the last five or six years,” McLeod said. “(I) met with him this morning, and he’s going to continue to assist us. His value to our program can’t be overstated. He’s been tremendous. He’s been helping out since high school in the athletic department. He’s just one of those guys who steps up to the plate and helps out.”
McLeod is committed to improving North Central and found himself in line with other recently appointed new leaders.
“I’m really excited about the staff we brought in,” he said. “Our brand new principal and superintendent, David Florenski and Jennifer Eichmeier, are crazy passionate and have some really ambitious goals. That’s probably why I jumped into this. I talked with them and they have some really great ideas and things they want to do at North Central.”