The Student News Media Site of Oakwood High School

The Ax Media

The Student News Media Site of Oakwood High School

The Ax Media

The Student News Media Site of Oakwood High School

The Ax Media

More than a game

Athletic Director Tyler Rhodus leans on lessons over winning as core value for department
Isa Medrano
Tyler Rhodus works diligently at his desk.

Walking into the athletic director’s office, there’s a huge calendar detailing the month’s matches, meetings and deadlines. Back toward the door,  a murmuring television broadcasts ESPN. On the right, helmets and awards populate the wall. At his desk, Athletic Director Tyler Rhodus looks through his filing cabinet, which reflects the organization of his desk, which is largely empty except for the few papers that he has prepared for the interview. The rooms reflects what he wishes to help his athletes learn: life skills that promote success are more important than winning.

“[The] lifelong lessons such as teamwork, hard work, dedication, and time management which will set them up for success in college and life beyond college,” Rhodus said. “We want to win. I think competing is important. There are lessons to be learned there as well, but not at the cost of those skills and character traits.”

Rhodus is passionate about improving the athletes coming through the program, and these aforementioned skills and character traits are part of his vision, which he shares with his coaches.

There has been quite the shift in the Oakwood coaching staff this year: Paul Stone, who had coached the boys basketball team for 22 years, made 2023 his last season after two back-to-back SWBL wins. Kim Gilbert, who helped many girls and boys tennis teams to state appearances for 28 seasons, handed over the program to new leadership in the fall. Jay Lane was hired a month ago as the new football coach, replacing head coach Butch Snider after nine years.

With the changes in the coaching staff, Rhodus is maintaining his focus for the future on the students and maintaining the vision that he started last year.

“There is nothing that stands out that I want to change that is drastic. I think that implementing that vision for the future is important,” Rhodus said. “I think that upgrades for facilities and some of those tangible things is probably where we are right now.” 

Within the past decade, the district, with the help of donors and the leadership of the Oakwood Athletic Boosters and parent teams,  has upgraded facilities with the addition of Lane Stadium, a remodel of The Pit gym and renovations to the ball diamonds. He notes how grateful he is for the athletic boosters and other groups and how they help him provide new things such as the new scorer’s table or updates to the baseball and softball fields.

Before he came to Oakwood, Rhodus was the athletic director at New Lebanon for three years. He hopes to continue providing his students with opportunities to grow as people. 

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