23 September 2008
Jackson Citizen Patriot
A Battle Creek man was chosen Monday to be Concord Community Schools' new athletic director amid allegations from another job candidate -- husband of a school board member -- that he was passed over partially for political reasons.

The school board voted 5-0 to hire Patrick Hansen, 37, of Battle Creek.

The decision ended a two-month search in which Trustee Christi Saenz's husband, David Saenz, became one of five applicants turned down.

David Saenz holds a 33-year athletic resume that includes coaching the University of Louisville women's volleyball team for two seasons. He previously coached girls volleyball at Northwest High School.

During the meeting he expressed his concern about the hiring process.

He said he suspects one reason he did not get hired was because his wife -- who abstained from voting on Hansen's appointment -- tends to be outspoken. He said he plans to take legal action against the board.

"I never even received a call about the interview," he said. "I listed nine professional references and not one of them was called. And that's wrong."

Superintendent Robert Bada responded: "The reason why we're doing this is to bring in the most-qualified candidate."

After the meeting, Bada added, ``If (Saenz) had been a top candidate for the position, we would have checked his references.''

Christi Saenz stepped away from her seat at the board table to comment on Hansen's hiring. The board did not respond to her comments.

Hansen was hired after David O'Dowd quit the position following four years at the job.

The new athletic director's total compensation, which includes retirement, Social Security, unemployment, insurance and wages, amounts to about $42,600, Bada said. That number is about $7,000 more than the last athletic director's total compensation -- the result of a board vote Monday to pay for health insurance.

Hansen, who comes from Big Rapids Crossroads Charter Academy, said in a telephone interview that he looks forward to his new job. He said he hopes to stir interest in the school's athletic programs and will work to improve the performance of the football team.

Hansen's resume includes certification in physical education and health studies, as well as certification to teach science in middle and high schools and social studies.

He's been hired part-time by the school to instruct physical-education classes. Hansen intends to finish a master's degree program in sports administration from Central Michigan University by December.

He has had 13 years of coaching experience.

"Education is the body of a school, and athletics is the spirit," he said. "It just puts a more positive vision on the school."
See the story here


posted by Chase at 12:22 PM |