Tyler Kelleher has resigned as athletic director of Molalla High School after he was offered the same position at Madison High School in Portland recently.
Kelleher, who also served as a social studies teacher and as the boys' basketball head coach, served four year as head of the athletic department at Molalla and five years with the basketball squad.
He resigned on Tuesday, July 25 after accepting the AD position with the 6A Portland Public Schools member Madison, which brings him back to the area he calls home; he has lived in the Portland area for the last year and a half, and he attended Lincoln High School his freshman and sophomore years before graduating from West Linn. He said Madison is about 15 minutes from where he lives.
"It was a very difficult decision obviously, but the opportunity was just something where I couldn't pass it up," Kelleher said. "It was tough though; we've done a lot there in Molalla the last couple of years, a lot of great things have happened, there's a lot of great coaches in place and great kids, going through the logo change and the new court, it was tough, that's for sure."
While Kelleher did play three different roles at Molalla, he'll serve only as the full-time AD at Madison; he doesn't have plans to return to teaching or coaching as of yet.
"That was part of the fun in Molalla though; I got to do multiple things with all different types of kids, but different school districts have different ideas on that, so it'll be different but it'll be fun too just being a full-time athletic director."
Kelleher said during his time as AD at Molalla, the relationships that he's built are at the forefront of his memories.
"Molalla has always been known for their sports that we've always been good at … and I think what's been great is you've seen some of these other programs start to have success and now Molalla is starting to be competitive and see success across the board," Kelleher said.
"But just the relationships that I've built with our coaching staff and out students, I mean each year we have kids that are not only having huge athletic success, but you look at what they do in the classroom and they're excelling; they're the kids with the 4.0s and I think across the board, our athletic programs and the individual team GPAs, it's just been remarkable what our kids have accomplished athletically and academically."
Keller then commented on the standings of the athletic programs at Molalla, saying he's excited about the head coaching staff.
"I think the head coaching staff is very strong; we've got dedicated coaches who know what they're doing and are continuing to build their program," he said. "They're giving [their athletes] not only a positive experience athletically, but they're also teaching them life lessons and providing them tools for success on and off the field, and I think as an athletic director, that's what you want."
Kelleher said he's particularly proud of the united culture that the athletic programs at Molalla have bought into in recent years, where teams and coaches are just as invested in the success of other programs as they are in their own. He said in order for success that is usually seen by a portion of the athletics programs at Molalla to permeate throughout the other sports, it takes hiring and retaining quality head coaches that all share the same vision.
"It's getting quality head coaches who buy into this vision and this idea of 'Well, we're obviously in it for our program, but we want the department and all athletic programs to succeed,' and I think you've seen a lot of coaches collaborate and work together and buy in to that model, because at the 4A level, you've got to have your best athletes playing multiple sports, and that comes with coaches working together and not forcing kids to make tough decisions or have there be consequences," Kelleher said.
"I think our head coaches have done a great job of working together and communicating with other head coaches and realizing that if football has a great year, you would think that boys' basketball, wrestling, track & field and baseball should have a good year, it should trickle down."
All three of Kelleher's positions at Molalla were listed on the school district's website on July 26, and the hiring process has begun. It's unclear as of yet how many, if more than one at all, people will be sought after for the positions.
"I think whoever takes over, I think they're in a great position," Kelleher said. "All of our head coaches are in place, they're experienced and have been there before, and I think [the new AD will] be in a good position to be successful."
"The pieces are there to continue the athletic success … Molalla has got some unbelievable kids; you spend a lot of time and effort like I did over the last four years, so it's tough to leave, but it's just an opportunity that I couldn't pass up," Kelleher said.
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