By HALEY HALL
With the start of the new semester, Jim Peeples is now acting as the head athletic director, or AD, a position that was offered to him last spring. The Navigator asked him some questions about how the new year is going.
The Navigator: What are your responsibilities for being the AD?
Peeples: There are several areas that the AD is responsible for, from a NCAA perspective as well as being a member of the USA South Athletic Conference. For me, the most important part of the job is to be a support system for our coaches and student athletes.
N: Do you enjoy being the AD and the baseball coach?
P: I am very excited that college has given me the opportunity to be the leader in our athletic department. Being able to continue coaching baseball is a blessing. I wouldn’t have attempted to do both jobs if we first didn’t have the best coaching staff in the USA South.
We have very experienced and successful coaches, and I have two of the best assistant coaches working with me in baseball. I am fortunate in both of these situation because of the tremendous coaching staff we have here at Piedmont College.
N: What do you differently from Coach John Dzik?
P: The first thing I want to say is that Dzik did a great job leading our department the last 10 years, and he has set us up for success.
He always said he wasn’t good at giving praise to people, and the one area that I might be different in is making sure to give credit to our coaches and student athletes for their achievements.
I believe that it is important as a leader to catch your people doing good things and giving them praise for those things. Some leaders only communicate with the people they lead when there are problems, and I just don’t believe that is a good way to motivate people.
N: Are you planning on staying the AD for a long time?
P: I have planned for my entire career in athletics to become an athletic director. At every coaching stop I have made along the way, I have also had administrative responsibilities.
To get the opportunity to lead our athletic program is very exciting. Many times people have to leave a school to get an opportunity like this one. I am very thankful that I can stay at a place that I absolutely love working.
Coming to Piedmont has been the best decision of my life both personally and professionally. I have always said the thing I enjoy most of all are the people that I work with and the student athletes that make their decision for Piedmont. I hope to stay as long they will have me.
N: If you could change one thing about athletic department, what would it be? Are you working towards changing anything?
P: The one area this year that we are working on is getting the student athletes to be more supportive of each other. We have 15 athletic programs at Piedmont, and sometimes as coaches and student athletes, we all are guilty of only thinking about the sport we coach or play.
One of my goals is for all of us to support our fellow coaches and student athletes. We have already begun a plan where teams are taking nights to come to home contests and support each other. This past Tuesday night, the men’s basketball team came to the volleyball match, and men’s lacrosse came to the men’s soccer game.
I also feel like it is very important for our athletic teams to attend concerts, art exhibits and theater productions. There are so many talented young people on our campus, and it is important for everyone to do what they can to support each other.