Robert Mickey started in teaching and coaching to help students and athletes grow.
As Mickey’s career at Woodstock progressed, he felt a greater need, one to help teachers and other coaches.
Mickey’s opportunity to do that presented itself this spring. Woodstock North athletic director Brady Stromquist announced he was leaving the Thunder after five years to become the assistant principal at Monmouth-Roseville, a school closer to the hometowns of he and his wife Tristi.
Mickey, 34, jumped at the chance to succeed Stromquist and was officially hired at District 200’s June 2 school board meeting. He will make $97,000 as North’s athletic director for the 2020-21 school year.
“I always saw myself wanting to be an athletic director,” said Mickey, who taught PE and health at Woodstock for seven years. “Over the past couple years, I got my second Master’s degree, in professional leadership. Through those courses I learned more about administration and about how I wanted to not just help students, but teachers and coaches. I wanted to grow and do the best I could to challenge myself in new ways. I am grateful they chose me and I’m excited to work at Woodstock North.”
D-200 superintendent Mike Moan said Mickey was a valued staff member at Woodstock.
“We are excited for him to take the athletic director position at Woodstock North,” Moan said. “At Woodstock High School, Bobby was respected by students and staff for his great relationships and strong work ethic as a teacher and a coach. I am very confident that Bobby will build strong relationships and support the entire community of Thunder Nation at Woodstock North.”
Mickey graduated from Fremd High School in 2004 and played four years of football at NCAA Division III Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He started teaching at an alternative school in Wisconsin and coached football and worked as strength and conditioning coach at Brookfield Central, west of Milwaukee.
Mickey returned to Illinois and worked as manager at CrossFit Huntley for three years before taking the teaching job at Woodstock. He was boys track and field head coach for the last four years and an assistant football coach for six years. He and his wife Alexa have two daughters – Evelyn (2) and Vivian (9 months).
“I’m very organized, I pay attention to detail, and I find myself always looking back and doing the best I can to stay organized,” Mickey said. “They saw that (in the interview process). I felt this was something I could do well.”
Stromquist oversaw North during the most successful times of its 11-year existence. The Thunder won back-to-back Class 3A regional titles in volleyball, won a Class 3A boys basketball regional championship, a sectional title in boys track and a sectional in girls tennis, all firsts in school history.
Stromquist has been around off and on in June to help Mickey with his transition. He officially starts on July 1.
“I want to be able to help coaches grow through professional development,” Mickey said. “The past couple years I’ve been fortunate to go to some professional development courses myself and I’ve grown. It’s a constant learning process. As athletic director, your job should be to help coaches grow and that, in turn, relates to helping student-athletes grow.
“I’m extremely excited to work at Woodstock North and build on what they’ve been doing. They’ve been doing some really nice things. It’s beautiful facilities out there. Everything is kind of in place and I think I can take them to the next level. We’ve won regional titles and we can build on that and start winning some sectionals.”