Athletics are not just for men and boys and the new athletic director at Boardman proves it. Denise Gorski, a veteran teacher and coach, has accepted a three year contract with Boardman Local Schools to be the athletic director.
The first woman athletic director in the district's history, Gorski has been working for the Boardman Local Schools since 1977.
''When I got hired at Boardman in the fall of 1977, they asked me to coach the girls golf team, be an assistant basketball coach and track coach,'' Gorski said. ''When Brenda Owen retired from coaching track, I decided to drop coaching winter sports and become very involved in the sport of track. It was ironic that when I went to high school, they didn't have track and I never competed in it myself. But I really loved coaching it and this is now my 32nd year as head coach and 36th year total coaching track and field.''
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Boardman athletic director Denise Gorski is the first woman AD in the district's history.
Gorski graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1973. While at Cuyahoga, she played volleyball, basketball and softball. After graduation she decided to major in physical education and health because of her interest in athletics and the fact she wanted to coach. A 1977 graduate of Kent State University, Gorski played on the university golf team, which at that time was just getting started.
Gorski continues her passion for athletics today and is said to have Spartan blood in her veins. She has her hands full with keeping up with the outstanding sports teams at Boardman, but she has already added new ideas and clubs to the district.
''One of the highlights for me this year was the creation of the Spartan Spirit Crew that was designed to help increase school spirit,'' she said. ''The club really did bring the students out in force this year and I think they have a lot of fun being more supportive of each other.''
The biggest challenge Gorski has is scheduling, which involves balancing the number of home and away contests, making sure to have officials for everything and scheduling buses.
According to Gorski, the recent winter season was a bit challenging because several basketball games had to be rescheduled. Gorski credits the coaches and athletic secretary Jean Armstrong for helping with all of that.
As for her future and what the next three years will entail, Gorski said the new stadium will be the most exciting aspect of the position.
''I'm excited about the new stadium because it will benefit so many programs including many sports and physical education classes,'' she said. ''There is a need for us to have a facility like the proposed one, especially when you see the facilities of many other schools in our area and our league. It is time for us to update, and I appreciate all the work the Boardman Boosters have done in starting the campaign for it a few years ago.''
Other than a new sports facility, Gorski said the other big change was in moving to the AAC.
''Every school goes through peaks and valleys with different sports,'' she said. ''But coming back home to the AAC league will bring back some excitement and support that I feel was lost the past few years with the traveling to a non-local league. The Federal League is a tremendous league, but it's time to renew our hometown rivalries and generate more school spirit by being closer to home.''