Wauseon High School had an outstanding 2019. They were one of VNN’s top schools and earned an “A” on their 2019 Report Card. Athletic Director Matt Hutchinson recently sat down with us to talk about his school, what led him to his current role as AD, and how they’re using VNN to improve their athletic department and community.
Tell us about yourself.
I am in my 8th year as the Athletic Director and 31st year in education. Prior to becoming the Athletic Director I taught high school math for 23 years at five different schools, the last 4 of which were here at Wauseon. I coached at all five schools for a total of 17 years, primarily in the sport of boys basketball. I received my undergraduate degree from Miami University and my Master’s from Bowling Green State University. When she’s not serving as my unofficial “assistant A.D.”, my wife teaches at our middle school and we have two children ages 18 and 15.
What makes Wauseon HS special?
The community of Wauseon has always taken great pride in it’s athletic teams. We have great student body and community support at our events. Our coaches have done a good job of promoting the concept of education-based athletics and most of our athletes also excel in the classroom. Our teaching staff recognizes the value of our athletic programs and supports our teams as well. The administrative team works well together to ensure that the athletic programs are supported. We have been fortunate that our athletic teams have had a great amount of success over the years but more importantly we have outstanding people involved with our programs.
Why’d you get into athletic directing? What gets you up in the morning about the work?
As the son of a former school superintendent, I guess I was destined to serve as a school administrator. The role of athletic director perfectly suites that objective combined with my love of sports. At some point in my life I have participated in almost every sport we offer at our school. I feel as though I have a broad understanding of each of our sports and that I have something to offer them with regards to helping them create a great experience for our athletes. I truly enjoy coordinating and directing the activities that our teams, players, and coaches are a part of.
Is there something you like the most about VNN? What’s the one thing you wish we could improve on?
When I became the athletic director, I felt it was important that our athletic program develop an informational website and have a strong presence on social media. When I stumbled upon the VNN platform at our annual OIAAA state conference, I knew that was something we needed to pursue and that VNN could help us improve our technological footprint. Just last month we had over 36,000 views on our website. With VNN’s platform, we have become one of the most visited athletic department websites in northwest Ohio.
How do you communicate effectively with your coaches and teams?
Technology has made communication with coaches and our teams much more efficient than in the past. VNN’s platform helps to spread the word quickly when events are cancelled or updated as our fans are able to sign up for alerts involving their favorite teams.
You guys have done a great job aligning with VNN’s mission, connecting communities through sport. Why do you think that is?
Today’s society is driven by technology. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other mediums allow us to share information in a way we never could before. Along with those platforms a quality website, particularly one integrated with the social media sites, is a great tool to engage your supporters. VNN allows us to be an active player in the technology world.
Anything else that you want to share with us.
Since we started utilizing VNN, they have joined forces with other entities to enhance what we can do. We have used Box Out Sports, ScoreBird and Rapid Replay to make our athletic department’s message reach a larger audience and engage people from across the country who like to keep tabs on the athletic teams from Wauseon.