It's Not About the Trophies: The Real Work of the Athletic Director

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The Athletic Department at LCS is a busy place.

Here’s a brief snapshot:

  • We offer 13 different sports and have 42 athletic teams.
  • This year we will have a total of 537 athletic contests, give or take a few.
  • Trumping the 537 contests is the 409 individual athletes, many of who are involved in more than one sport bringing the total participation number to 593 team participants.
  • Two thirds of the LCS student body from 6th-12th grades are involved in the athletic program.  That’s 65% of the middle school and 67% of the high school participated on a sports team.

So, like I said…the Athletic Department is a busy place, and the life of an Athletic Director is a very busy one.  It is seldom, if ever, boring. But beware of the bareness of a busy life: busyness without purpose is empty, like cotton candy—no real substance. Just fluff.

What is the goal of all the busyness?  What are we really trying to accomplish?  Is it success? And what does success look like?  Success is found in people, not trophies.

We have 20 State Championships and 18 State Runner Up trophies. There are too many District Championships to count. But that is not what it is all about. It’s about commitment and character.

Developing athletic teams with the goal of winning championships is a given, but NOT at the expense of an athlete’s spiritual commitment and character.  Discipleship of student-athletes is the most important work of the athletic department.  Helping students to develop character in the context of competition is our goal.  Performance is crucial, but character means everything.

That is one of the many neat things about being at LCS for 33 years (26 as AD).  I have witnessed and continue to witness many success stories.  The success stories are not wins and championship on the playing field, but watching the development of young men and women, many who are now moms and dads who are living meaningful, God-honoring lives.  Looking back, we count it a high privilege to have invested in these former LCS athletes, and to assist in the molding of their character, in some small way.  And we appreciate this same opportunity with the student-athletes on our campus today.

Maybe next time I can share some of those individual success stories.  Take a minute and reflect on your life and ask the question Vicky Dawson, our late elementary PE teacher, always asked her students: “Do your actions show good, Godly character?”

Mark Kirby has been at LCS for 33 years and has served as the LCS Athletic Director for the past 26 years. He also coaches track and teaches Driver's Education. If you would like to contact Mr. Kirby, email him at

Posted In Viking Views Blog From Sports Scene

Published on by Mark Kirby.