By David Fong
Regional Sports Content Manager
TROY — There’s good news for husbands everywhere … turns out the “honey do” list is finite.
When he retired as Troy High School athletic director last December, Jeff Sakal said he had promised to finish a long list of chores and household projects his wife had made for him during his nine years on the job.
Sakal finished that list in a little more than six months — and is headed back to work.
Sakal confirmed Friday evening he has accepted the athletic director position at Troy Christian High School. He replaces Mike Coots, who stepped down at the recent end of the school year so he could accept the AD position at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati.
“I have remodeled or fixed everything in our house that needed to be done,” Sakal said with a chuckle Friday night in an interview with the Troy Daily News. “Now I need to get back to work.”
Sakal’s career in athletic administration began in 1983 at Wright State University. He spent 13 years at Wright State as assistant athletic director, assistant director of the Ervin J. Nutter Center and director of the Nutter Center. He then spent eight years as athletic director at Tippecanoe High School and followed that up with a nine-year stint as Troy High School athletic director.
He said he enjoyed his brief retirement, but is anxious to get back to work again.
“While I was retired, I found out that I still need to work,” the 55-year-old Sakal said. “I’m still young. I may not look good, but I feel good. The tank is not empty.”
Sakal said Troy Christian will be a good fit for him for a number of reasons.
“They’ve got a lot of good things going on in terms of education, not just athletics,” he said. “That made the job very appealing. Plus, I can’t beat the commute. I look forward to continuing to work in the Troy community.”
Sakal also will inherit a program rich in athletic tradition. The Troy Christian wrestling program has won four Division III state titles in the past decade and remains a perennial state-title contender, while the Troy Christian boys basketball program made a run to the state semifinals two years ago and was ranked in the top 10 in the state much of last season.
He’ll also have the opportunity to work with a number of familiar faces. Troy Christian football coach Steve Nolan was the head coach at Troy during Sakal’s entire run there, while assistant football coach Ron Phillis was the principal at Troy High School while Sakal was there.
“Obviously, that will help,” Sakal said of the chance to work with Nolan and Phillis again. “Hopefully that will make the transition smoother. The chance to work with good people means a lot to me.”
Contact David Fong at (937) 440-5228 or firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong