By BEN JOHNSON
Brad Gilbert’s plan from the outset was to shape young minds — in the classroom and on the football field. Now he’s about to get back to that.
Gilbert recently handed over his athletic director duties at Tahlequah High School in an effort to get back in the classroom. He said he’ll be able to do that in the fall.
“A couple of months ago, I had told them that I was looking to get out of the AD position,” Gilbert said, talking about Tahlequah Public Schools’ administration. “I visited with (superintendent) Lisa Presley and it was great.”
Gilbert said he’ll retain his spot as Tahlequah’s head football coach, though.
“I got into the profession to teach and coach,” Gilbert said. “I will stay on as a coach and teacher.”
Taking over the posts left by Charlie Cooper — as both head football coach and athletic director — Gilbert said his decision to step down as athletic director wasn’t pressed upon him by administrators.
“I wasn’t forced out,” Gilbert said. “They tried to talk me into staying. It was completely my decision.”
Another factor into dropping the athletic director duties was to spend more time at home, Gilbert said.
“I have a nine-year-old and a six-year-old at home,” he said, “and it’s hard to spend time with them."
Gilbert said he’s gracious for everything the district did for him while he was athletic director. He also mentioned his eagerness to return to the classroom.
“I’m thankful for everything that they’ve done for me,” Gilbert said. “Now I get to get back in the classroom and see those kids that I love to see.”
A source told the Tahlequah Daily Press that Tahlequah Public Schools is narrowing its search for an athletic director this week, with the possibility that a hire could be made in the near future.
But Gilbert said he’s out of the loop on that and doesn’t know who the district will target to take over in his place.
“I’m having nothing to do with that,” said Gilbert, who will serve as the athletic director until June 30.