By Ashley Flynn
Northfield Jr./Sr. High School recently named Geoff Salmon as their new athletic director.
Salmon will be filling the shoes of Tony Uggen who has accepted a position as athletic director in his hometown at Blackford High School. Uggen had been athletic director since the 2003/2004 school year, and he was a teacher before that.
Geoff, a rookie in the administrative field, said this would be a new experience and challenge for him. He just completed his master’s degree at Purdue of Calumet last year in administration. His undergrad was also completed at Purdue where he received a degree in technology education.
Northfield received 46 applications for the job and interviewed seven before offering the position to Geoff.
“We have a lot of criteria we set. Obviously we want someone with successful experience as a school personal, whether it’s a teacher or coach, and we prefer a candidate with an administrative license,” Northfield Principal Mike Keaffaber told The Paper of Wabash.
“It came to the point where Geoff Salmon rose to the top, and he fit all the criteria. A plus for us in this situation was a very successful girls basketball coach. That made it even better because we did have a girls basketball coach position available,” he said. “I think we have a great fit. He’s going to bring a lot to the program that we have. I’m looking forward to working with him, and I think we are going to have a great success.”
Salmon began his administrative job search in the spring, and was attracted to Northfield partly because of the coaching position.
“When Northfield came open, I saw that they were going to allow their person to coach. So this will allow me to get into administration while still being able to coach,” Salmon said.
Salmon is currently the girls’ basketball coach at Lafayette Jeff High School.
Prior to that job he was the head coach at Lafayette Central Catholic for five years where he led the team to their first ever sectional in 2006.
With Lafayette Jeff High School, he has accomplished four sectional titles and three conference championships as well as regional and state wins.
“I like the interaction with kids and watching them grow and improve. I think it’s always rewarding to see a kid improve over time, and when they get to a point where they are playing the best they can,” Salmon said about coaching.
As an athletic director, Geoff will over see coaches and approve their programs. For the first year he plans on observing to see how things are run and make notes on how to make improvements.
“The first year will be getting to know the staff and the teachers. I want to observe the procedures and look to see what kinds of improvements need to be made,” said Salmon. “One thing I would like to start working on immediately are building up better feeder programs for our athletes and sports programs,” he added.
As a coach, Salmon is already familiar with some of the players he will be working with.
“I serve as the District 2 representative for the State of Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, so I am familiar with some of the kids from the area through the voting we do as an association,” he said.
“My main thing is that we get great effort every day from the kids and make sure that they are playing hard and competing,” Salmon added about his coaching style.
Salmon’s current drive is over an hour away from Wabash, but he and his wife are looking to relocate to the area. Together they have four children ranging from pre-school to a senior in high school.
“Going through this process, I have heard nothing but great things about the community. I am excited to go in there and work with a bunch of great people,” Salmon said. “I’ve been blessed here in Lafayette to work with a bunch of great people, and I think I will have a similar situation there at Northfield. I’m ready to get there, meet everyone and get going.”