Avonworth Names A.D.

New Avonworth athletic director Earl Chet Fuhrman brings decades of professional and collegiate sports experience to the district.

Avonworth School District administrators were flooded with some 90 resumes after posting a job opening for an athletic director. That number first was cut down to 15, then down to three. Eventually there was only one candidate for the job.

The school board unanimously voted to hire Earl Chet Fuhrman as athletic director, replacing Greg Wagner, who resigned July 31.

“We were really impressed with his motivation, his exuberance for the job,” superintendent Dr. Valerie McDonald said at the board’s work session on Monday.

Fuhrman, whose first day on the job was Tuesday, brings some 30 years of coaching experience to the table -- 25 of them at the professional and collegiate levels.

Fuhrman spent 15 years as the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers under former coach Bill Cowher. Prior to that, he spent time under another well-known coach, Penn State's Joe Paterno.

A physical education teacher and football coach at two high schools in Harrisburg, where he is originally from, the new athletic director graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma.

"My goal is to make Avonworth the best athletic program in the state," Fuhrman said. And he comes with a plan to do just that.

Fuhrman said that he will sit back at first and observe the athletic department’s successful programs. After that he plans on implementing some of his own experiences and ideas in order to make the athletic department even more successful. Fuhrman said that Avonworth already has good potential, and that he is ready to add to the winning record at Avonworth.

Before even being selected for the job, Fuhrman already had an action plan ready. The plan includes things he wants to accomplish, such as a "leadership academy" for student athletes.

"I want student athletes to be leaders in the community," he said. That part of his plan already has begun, as Fuhrman noted that some athletes will be attending an upcoming leadership conference at Robert Morris University.

Another part of his plan includes ways to help both coaches and athletes improve themselves.

"I hope to be the head coach of the coaches," Fuhrman said. "If they become better coaches, the players will get better."

He said he plans on utilizing his 30 years of experience in different ways to help coaches improve, including showing them new ways to teach various sports skills. Fuhrman said that he wants to make sure that coaches are using effective drills to teach athletes skills to cut down on wasted time at practices.

Fuhrman said he welcomes input from the community, and that he wants to hear the community’s thoughts and concerns about Avonworth sports.

"I have an open-door policy," he said.

Fuhrman will be paid $55,000 per year with benefits.

Board members Marybeth Sommers and Brenda Barlek were absent from Monday’s meeting. Member Patrick Stewart was late for the meeting and not present at the time of the vote.

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