WHS names new athletic director

Published 4:04 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

When the Washington High School wrestlers step on the mat for Wednesday night’s home match, Lane Raper will no longer be required to be there.

Raper will hand off his duties as athletic director to current Pam Pack baseball coach and teacher Will Tyson at the end of this week.

Raper, who resigned to resigned to spend more time with his family, will continue as a WHS faculty member and help train Tyson during the spring sports season.

“I came to this school (from P.S. Jones Middle School) to coach and I want to get back into next year,” Raper said. “We had a tough situation when the previous AD left abruptly just before COIVD-19 hit and (former principal) Dr. Swinson asked me to step in. I liked the position and stayed with it, but now it’s time to get back into coaching. I’ve had my eye on Coach Tyson to replace me for a while now and I know he will do a great job.”

The athletic director is responsible for everything related to the athletic department including managing the budget, scheduling games for all sports, arranging transportation to away games, manning the gate and concession stands for home games, helping with security and dealing with crowd control issues when they arise.

“I enjoyed working with the coaches to help them improve and I enjoyed getting to know the athletes,” Raper said. “I’ve learned a lot about how much work it takes to have a successful program and it’s time for a break.”

Raper cites the new track, gym improvements, and continued competitive success as accomplishments during his tenure.

“We’re pretty solid in most sports and I credit the coaches for that,” Raper said. “They’ve helped me as much or more than I’ve helped them and I appreciate it.”

Tyson can to WHS four years ago as a lateral-entry business teacher and as an assistant to Raper in the baseball program. He’s assisting with the swim team now, while teaching three classes and conducting baseball workouts. The new role adds another layer of responsibility, but he says he’s ready.

“Principal Lassiter called me into his office last week and said Coach Raper had recommended me and asked for my thoughts,” Tyson said. “I told him I would talk it over with my wife and pray over it and this is how it worked out. I believe in our school and our athletes and want us to have the best athletics program we can have. It will be a challenge, but I’m excited.”

Tyson said involving athletes in more community and school projects are among goals along with getting more students involved in athletics as primary goals. First things, first however.

“I’m glad Coach Raper will be here this spring to teach me the ropes,” Tyson said. “That will be my learning period before I hit the ground running in the fall. My time management skills will certainly improve this spring that’s for sure.”