By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
KNOX CENTRAL — The Knox Central High School athletics department is under new leadership as Jeff Canady was named Athletic Director on Monday.
Canady’s duties will not officially begin until July 1, but he said he was already working on ways to improve the system as whole while he waits for his first official day on the job.
Having played high school sports at Knox Central and being a longtime supporter of the school has Canady itching to get started and try to change things for the betterment of the student-athletes.
“I was informed this morning that I was the new Athletic Director at Knox Central High School and my duties begin on July 1,” Canady said. “I’ve been involved with Knox County sports for 30-plus years, so I have a real love for the area and the kids.
“I had some people approach me and the job came open, so I applied for it and was lucky enough to get the job,” he added. “I think Tommy Smith has done a great job with this position and I really like him, so that makes it bittersweet.”
Canady played for the Panthers in several sports during his high school days. He was a four-year starter on the football and baseball teams, while he started for two years in baseball and competed in track for all four years of his high school career.
After graduation he went on to play college football for what was then known as Cumberland College (University of the Cumberlands) before graduating from there.
With two sons in the Knox County system for several years now, Canady has been active in local sports. He said he’s had roles in everything from Little League baseball to being the President of Knox Central’s 12th Man Club. He said those experiences as well as his love of sports would be key in achieving some things he has set as personal goals when taking the position.
“The first thing I want to do is make sure that each of our sports gets the same attention and recognition when they do something good,” Canady said. “I also want to get each sport to a level that we’re being talked about statewide instead of just locally.
“I love our area and I love the kids, so I want to make sure they have every opportunity to advance to the next level,” he added. “That means they’ll not only have to be successful on the field or court, but in the classroom as well.”
With the process complete, Canady said all that was left was to get to work. He thanked all involved in the search and decision and said he was looking forward to getting started.
“The support from our administration has been amazing and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity,” Canady said. “I hope I can do as good a job as they do and I’ll be trying to improve things every single day.
“I think the future is bright for Knox Central High School and I’m just excited to be a part of it,” he added.