When Kris Diaz was a senior here at Baldwin-Wallace College (B-W), he wrote a report about what is dream job would be once he graduated. Thirty years later, that dream is still coming true.
When Coach Diaz was in high school at Amherst Steele High School (1974), he was not the typical high school student who did not know what they wanted to do with their life once they graduated. He was so influenced by his coaches and his love of sports that he knew that was the field he wanted to be in once his schooling experience was done.
He enjoyed his time, the staff, the people, and his over all positive experience here at B-W when he was a student that he knew he wanted to be a coach at the college level and wanted to return to B-W to coach.
Coach Diaz has served as an assistant football coach at B-W since 1998 and has been the .assistant athletic director since 2006.
When the Athletic Director position opened up last year, he just at the opportunity. Diaz said, "As a coach, you're only involved in one sport," and he wanted to be apart of the "big picture",
The challenge of the big-picture was appealing to him and he wanted to take on the challenge.
The position so far for Diaz, has been "a little hectic." The realities of the position were things he considered when he applied, but seeing them come to life has been part of the challenge that Diaz loves.
"There is always something that needs your attention," he said.
This year there has been a few items on the table that has needed his attention, Not only was the renovation of Tressel Field a huge project for Diaz, but football, soccer, and band camp schedules all had be adjusted so everyone had a place to practice and get their work done.
Recruiting new students to B-W is always a challenge. Trying to convince then that this college is the best fit for them and they will receive the best experience here is very hard. The future of B-W is always concern that Diaz has to deal with.
"We are at a high bar right now," Diaz said, "but we are always striving for higher, more, and better then before but never forgetting about that initial bar that we have set and to never dip below it,"
There are a few projects and upgrades on the table that Diaz is hoping to proceed with in the future. The department wants to expand the old Brown's practice facility and make it more useful for all sports.
The renovation of the locker rooms at Finne Stadium have been over duo. They would add lockers to the visitors' locker room, because currently the visiting teams got ready in the recreation center and walk over the stadium.
They want to add lockers for the soccer teams and track teams so that they can utilize them as well. Try to find more practice facilities for the football and soccer team and even find more space fore the intermural teams as well.
Some advice Coach Diaz would give to any student aspiring to be a coach or athletic director is that you need to be flexible and adaptable; You need to be able to work with changes and always have room to adapt.
Being optimistic and positive is a huge characteristic and is must in this position. You have to be able to turn the negatives in to positives and to be able to find the opportunities in the challenges that are presented.
Having knowledge of coaching is an advantage of being an athletic director, he added. You have a more understanding on where they are coming from, what they are going through, and why they are treating a situation a certain way.
Diaz feels that having a little business in their background would not hurt. Being able to put together fundraising ideas, planning a budget for each season, and knowing how to property schedule events is very important to the job and having business in your background would only help you make this types of decisions.
She believes that students need to think about their future and realize that they should put a great deal of heard work into everything that they do. But more importantly, they always strive to continue to grow, learn, and develop.