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North Miami hires Ed Contreras as athletic director

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

Clay Bolser’s departure from North Miami as athletic director last month left a vacancy at the position with the fall sports season right around the corner.

That spot was filled Tuesday evening’s school board meeting as Ed Contreras was approved to be the Warriors’ new athletic director for the 2017-18 school year.

Contreras was happy to make the move after being an assistant athletic director the past four years.

“I had been looking to advance my career in athletic administration,” Contreras said. “I was the assistant athletic director down at Madison Consolidated and when the opening here came up, it represented the chance to fulfill a goal of being an athletic director.

“This allows to me to work with a team that has a goal of bringing up athletic teams as well as work with students as they grow from freshmen to seniors, even reaching down into the junior high level.”

Contreras began his career in athletic administration at South Newton High School as the associate athletic director for the Rebels.

Contreras was also the varsity cross country coach from 2010 to 2014, as well as Jr. High track and field coach, before moving to Madison Consolidated two years ago, where he said he was given several responsibilities throughout the year.

“I ran some of the sectional events, did the scheduling, hired officials and the regular athletic paperwork that contracts come with the job,” Contreras said. “One thing I really looked forward to was the events.

“When the final bell rang, we got out there and enjoyed watching the kids in their sports. I was an event worker for soccer, volleyball, football, track and other sports.

“We got the chance to watch all different of sports and help them grow,” Contreras added. “We helped to build a weight lifting and agility program and hope to see that continue here.”

Contreras worked under recently hired history, physical education and boys’ basketball coach Cliff Hawkins while at Madison, a time that helped Contreras hone his skills.

“I learned a lot at Madison under Cliff,” Contreras noted. “I learned how to be personable with people, how to be versatile and how to handle different situations and how to look for positive problems.

“The biggest thing we tried to create was a positive problem, such as having too many participants for a sport. We had a small weight room at Madison, which was a positive problem, so we looked for investments to build up the weight room, which we able to accomplish in a year.

“Those are some of the things (Cliff) mentored me in,” Contreras added. “He taught me how to look for ways to make positive upgrades and find positivity in things.”

When the opening at North Miami came up, it didn’t take long for people to encourage Contreras to apply.

“Cliff was one of the people that mentioned it to me, as well as Nick Eccles,” Contreras said when the position was opened up. “They encouraged me to apply and I did so.

“I went through a round of interviews with several individuals, got a second interview and before you know it, here I am in front of the school board. I’m grateful that they were able to see everything that I had to offer and wanted me up here.”

With North Miami beginning classes on Wednesday, Contreras, who begins next Monday in his new role, will have to jump right in to the fray, which suits the new athletic director just fine.

“I’m used to a fast-paced environment,” Contreras pointed out. “My first 14 years were spent on the South Side of Chicago, where everything is fast and you had to keep up.

“I went to school at Merrillville, playing football and track at a large school where you had to keep up. I’ve been trained to move fast but effectively.

“As I went through my previous two schools, it became part of my personality to work fast and efficiently,” Contreras added. “It hopefully won’t be too hard of a transition to being here as, with four years of experience in two schools, I understand the dynamics and what needs to happen.”

While he had been able to see the facilities and meet a few of the coaches, Contreras said he was eager to get things moving and meet the rest of the faculty, staff and students next week.

“I’ve only been up here once to get a look at the facilities outside of the interviews,” Contreras said. “Facilities wise, they’re making things look wonderful.

“The new gym looks great, the outside facilities look great, everything is well-maintained and walking through them, I’m excited to work at them. I haven’t been able to meet the students yet but I have met a few of the coaches and I’m excited to work with everyone. 

“I’m itching at the chance to get started next Monday,” Contreras added. “It almost feels like it can’t come quicklyenough.”