By Keith Taylor For the Times-Tribune
Ryan Nolan won’t be changing school mascots this fall, but will be changing schools.
The George Rogers Clark athletics director resigned Thursday to take a similar position at South Laurel High School. Nolan will oversee the high school and middle school athletic departments and begin his new job Monday. Nolan made the switch to be closer to his wife Tiffany’s family in London. His last day at Clark was Friday.
“I thought it was a good move for my family,” he said. “People who know me, know that I’m a family-first guy and always have been. It gives us a chance to go back to London, which is where Tiffany is from, so her family will get to see their granddaughter grow up. Laurel County has a very strong athletic tradition. It’s overall going to be a good move for us and something we felt like was a good time (to move). I’m excited, ready to get started and figure out what is all going on over there. We weren’t looking to leave, and I’ve enjoyed my time here at Clark. In the back of our minds, Tiffany and I have always talked about moving to London, but we didn’t think it would ever happen. To get this opportunity is kind of a God-thing and it happened fast, too. In a couple of days, it (the deal) was done. It (happened) very fast.”
Nolan replaces South Laurel’s Keith Gilbert who recently resigned as athletics director following a five-year stint at South Laurel.
“I wanted to be there (Monday), because that’s when the first organized practice for fall sports begins,” he said. “I felt like it was important for me to be there from Day 1 if it was possible.”
Nolan said the athletic department he’s leaving behind at Clark is in better shape after walking in and “starting fresh” three years ago.
“I feel like in my three years here, we have went from individual teams to an athletic department,” he said. “We’re now GRC athletics. The other thing big was establishing a coaches handbook and that was huge. Another thing I am proud of is our parent-student-athlete handbook, that we give out now to players who make the team.”
Nolan said his experience as athletics director at Clark for the past three years will play a role into adjusting to his new surroundings.
“It’s more than scheduling ball games and getting referees,” he said. “It’s a lot of administration, meeting KHSAA requirements and human resources, it’s an all-day, everyday, full-time (job) and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve had a lot of good people around me, Dr. Elaine Farris, a great mentor and Mr. (David) Bolen, it was great working with him. I’ve learned a lot. That’s why I’m excited to go to South now and apply what I’ve learned here. I’m (going to be) an outsider coming in and I will have a different view of how things are going there. I’m going to try and carry on the tradition.”