Andrew Walters knows from personal experience what athletics can do for someone. He says he became an educator because of his experiences working with kids through athletics.
So it’s no surprise that Walters is excited to become the next athletic and activities director at Harvard Community Unit School District 50.
“The only reason I’m where I’m at is because of athletics,” Walters said. “I am very excited. It’s something I’ve been looking at doing for the past five or six years, getting into the athletic director field.”
Walters’ hiring was approved by the school board at its meeting this month.
Walters, 34, coached various sports and taught health for 12 years at Belvidere High School. He served as the varsity baseball coach since the 2012 season. The past two years he has been the dean of students.
A Belvidere and NIU graduate, Walters knew Harvard principal Carl Hobbs, who previously served as an assistant principal at Belivdere.
“I talked to him and decided to put my name in the hat,” Walters said. “From what I understand and the people I know, Harvard has some good people. It has a rich tradition. That’s one of the most exciting parts.”
Walters will replace Matt Rife, who served as Harvard athletic director since 2013 and is heading to Lakes to teach social studies and coach. Walters officially takes over in July.
“[Walters] is a well-rounded individual,” Hobbs said in a statement released by the school. “I look forward to his forward-thinking approach.”
Walters envisions a Harvard where athletic and activity participation is at or near 100 percent.
“I just want every kid to enjoy the high school experience,” Walters said. “Athletics and coaches made a huge impact on me and still do to this day. That’s what I hope to be able to give to our kids at Harvard.”
Walters and his wife Rachael recently bought a house in Boone County. They have a 1-month old daughter, Addison. Rachael Walters is a teacher in Huntley Community School District 158.
Coach hirings: According to the Harvard CUSD 150 board agenda, the board approved the hiring of Larin Filip as varsity girls basketball coach and Tim Wiltshire as varsity cross country coach.