Lewis named IHSAA assistant commissionerJuly 26, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER — The search is on for Jasper High School's next athletic director after the Indiana High School Athletic Association announced Brian Lewis as its assistant commissioner in a Monday news release.
Lewis, a 2002 Jasper graduate, served as Jasper's AD for the past three years, and he will be filling the vacancy that current Commissioner Paul Neidig left when he took over the top job from the retired Bobby Cox in 2020.
"I'm extremely proud," Lewis said. "There's been a long connection with my family and the IHSAA office. It's always held a very special place in my heart. I always knew as a young kid that if anything I could do to put myself in a position if this opportunity ever presented itself, I was going to do that. And fortunately, the time has come, and I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve the student-athletes across the state and join an unbelievable leadership team at the IHSAA."
Lewis is the grandson of Gene Cato who once served as IHSAA commissioner, and the son of former Jasper AD Denny Lewis. Talking about his family to The Herald on Monday brought back memories of going to different state finals events growing up as a kid. He felt the timing was right in making this move - citing that these positions don't open often.
Yet, he knows how tough it's going to be to leave Jasper.
"I don't think there's a better athletic director's job in the state of Indiana other than Jasper High School," he said. "So, I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve in that role for the last three years. Jasper will always be home, and I'm extremely thankful to say I'm from Jasper High School and Jasper as a community."
Brian was one of 10 finalists for this position, and athletics has always been a focal point of his life. He's been passionate about education athletics for many years - having previously coached football at North Vermillion, Columbia City and Evansville Harrison. Brian served as Monrovia's athletic director before taking on the same position at his alma mater.
The IHSAA put out in its news release that Brian's appointment date has not been set yet. He's in the process of working with Dr. Tracey Lorey, the superintendent of the Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools, and also the school board, for a good transition plan.
He did not know if he will have any input into whom his successor will be, but he did offer the characteristics and qualities he thinks Jasper's next AD should have.
"I think they need to be in it for kids," Brian said. "We are in the business of kids. They need to be able to build on or develop relationships with the coaching staff, the administration and the community.
"Jasper is a very unique place in the fact that our community gets behind our athletics, they have for a long time - and always will," he continued. "You don't get the type of crowds and support everywhere you go. Jasper is a very special place, and anyone that steps into that role needs to embrace that and continue to work with the great coaching staff and the great athletes that we have across the board."
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