Daughtry named Athletic Director of the Year

Kentwood Athletic Director Jo Anne Daughtry, is Athletic Director of the Year for the second time.

Each league chooses an Athletic Director of the Year, according to Daughtry. Then, she said that candidate goes to the West Central Board and they indicate who will be moved to the state award.

“It’s quite an honor, I think when your peers pick you for something like this it’s very humbling and there’s a lot of great athletic directors in our league, but I’m overwhelmed but very grateful,” she said.

The last time Daughtry won this award was in 2011, she said directors can only win it every five years.

Daughtry said she has been working in the Kent School District for 36 years, with 19 of those years being athletic director.

Starting in second grade Daughtry knew she wanted to be a teacher of some kind, she said.

This is what drove her to double major in business and PE, while also getting a minor in coaching.

She is from Oak Harbor, but moved to Kent shortly after receiving a job for a business position in the Kent School District after teaching in Memphis, Tennessee for one year.

She said she taught PE in Memphis because there were no job openings in the area for PE teacher, which is what she originally wanted to do.

Then she heard about an athletic position opening up at Kentwood, but wasn’t too sure of it at first.

“I always looked at this job and wanted to do this, but didn’t know if I could,” Daughtry said. “(But) because I love helping people I saw this need to take some things off coaches plates so they didn’t have to worry about all this paperwork and busy work stuff.”

Now, she said she could not see herself doing anything else and wouldn’t change anything.

She not only loves to help the coaches, but helping the kids when they need her is something Daughtry does not take lightly. She wants to make sure they all succeed.

“I just love helping the kids, I help in a different way because I’m not actually out there coaching them, but I’m working with kids that have grade issues, with scholarships and different things to help them be successful as an athlete here, so I just like to help people,” Daughtry said.

Helping kids isn’t always about the good things though.

To Daughtry, this is one of the hardest parts of her job.

“I think the hardest part is when kids don’t understand why they’ve been cut or if I have to tell them because of grades they can’t play, that’s hard because I know it means a lot to them, but by the same token, especially with the grade side, I work with them, the kids that do grade checks every week, I work with them and try to get them with a tutor or help them get their grades up so that they can participate,” she said.

Another stressful part about what Daughtry does is being the activities coordinator on top of being athletic director. She said the combination of the two is what makes it the hardest because there is not enough time in the day.

She said her job entails a lot more than just emails. She has the responsibility of making sure coaches are doing what they need to do, getting officials for games, getting transportation for games, making sure all the players are eligible to play and so much more.

After working as athletic director for 19 years, Daughtry said not too much has changed over the years, as far as the people go.

“The kids are still the kids, the coaches are still the coaches and I’m very fortunate to have an amazing coaching staff,” she said.

She said she works with coaches that went to Kentwood when they were in high school and feels very fortunate to have those people in her life.

“A lot has changed (environmentally), but I don’t know that it’s changed what I do,” Daughtry said.

Daughtry is only the third athletic director ever at Kentwood, and also the one who has worked there the longest.

She said she does not plan on going anywhere anytime soon. She said she will stay for maybe another 5-10 years, but then she will retire.

“I enjoy what I do everyday, so I think I’m fortunate in that way. There’s people who end up doing something for years and years that they hate,” Daughtry said. “I’ve either been a student or a teacher or athletic director for so long that I can’t imagine anything else.”

More in Sports

WIAA will use committees to seed prep football playoffs

Many coached weren’t satisfied with the traditional system that used district seeds and geography.

Swoopes hoops it up

Seahawk tight end visits Kent community for career fair

Gymnasts pose in their respected placements. Submitted photo
Local youth gymnasts reach the big time

Nine kids from Summit Gymnastics went to the USA Gymnastics Regional Championships.

Season ends after tough losses in regionals

Tahoma and Kentlake secured a spot in the 4A baseball state tournament.… Continue reading

May Madness begins today for Tahoma, Kentwood

The top seven 4A softball teams from the West Central District/Southwest District… Continue reading

Kentridges Solomon Hines dashes to victory in the 100 meters at 10.87 seconds. RACHEL CIAMPI, Kent Reporter
Tahoma boys, girls win league

Top qualifiers compete at districts May 17 and May 19 at French Field

Photos by Kayse Angel
Season ends for Falcons, Conks and Bears|Photo Gallery

Following Tuesday’s loser out, first round West Central/Southwest matches — Kentlake, Kentwood… Continue reading

Tahoma senior Nick Dazell pitches during Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Kentridge. Photo by Kayse Angel
Tahoma heads to district semifinals

The Bears advance. In a district tournament match up against the Kentridge… Continue reading

Conks soccer leads NPSL

The Kentwood Conquerors boys soccer team currently holds the first place spot… Continue reading

File photo of Jordan Fong. Photo by Rachel Ciampi
Outstanding teen moves onto Stanford

The Kentlake student has placed first in all three of the track events that she competes in, is a straight-A student and does community service in her spare time.

Gold Rush Dancer won last year’s Longacre Mile by four and three-quarter lengths, beating out Mach One Rules. Photo Courtesy of Phil Ziegier
Familiar names among expected stars at Emerald Downs

Each year at every track there’s new faces among the horse population… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Indian Relay Racing set to return in early June

Emerald Downs offers some type of promotion for each of its 67… Continue reading