Vannett reflects on athletics
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Saturday, 13 April 2013 09:05
Mike Vannett's career in education is coming to an end.
|BG's Mike Vannett. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The athletics director at Bowling Green High School for the last 23 years is retiring.
The 54-year-old also has been the school's dean of students since 2002 when he resigned as the Bobcats' boys basketball coach to accept the dean position.
Vannett is retiring because of changes in the State Teachers Retirement System.
"It's a financial decision, that's the major reason," said Vannett, a 1976 BGHS graduate. "I have to do what's best for my family."
His last day is June 21.
"I'll miss the kids and the people I've worked with," he said. "You couldn't ask for a better group of people who work hard for the kids and the time and effort they put in to be successful. It's always been about what's best for the kids first. The kids have always been great, whether they were involved in athletics or not."
He has 31 years in education, including a combined eight years as a teacher and coach at Ashland Crestview and Riverdale before coming to BGHS.
He played basketball and baseball at Wittenberg, and earned his master's degree at BGSU in athletics administration. He was a graduate assistant coach for the Falcon baseball team.
"It's really neat to see a kid walk across the stage at graduation and receive their diploma, and reflect back on how that kid was when they came in as a freshman, and now seeing them as a senior getting their diploma," Vannett said. "I enjoy seeing how much they've grown and matured, not just in athletics, but as a person and as a student.
''That's what education is all about, helping kids mature and develop, so they can move onto the next phase of their life. That always gives me a great deal of satisfaction whether that student was involved in athletics or not."
As athletics director, Vannett was responsible setting up BG's facilities and finding workers for home games. He often worked 60-80 hours a week.
"When an event goes off and there are no issues and it was just about the event, you take pride and satisfaction in that," he said. "You hope it's a good experience for everyone, athletes, coaches, officials, fans."
Athletics have been a family affair for Vannett and his family. His wife, Beth, has sold tickets, operated the scoreboard and kept the scorebook at BGHS events.
His son, Matt, and daughter Lindsay, were BGHS athletes. They also helped at events when they weren't competing.
Lindsay is the varsity volleyball coach at Maumee High School where she teaches physical education.
Matt is close to completing his degree in construction technology management at BGSU where he played baseball for four seasons.
"When you take a position as an athletics director and the other stuff, you realize you're going to be putting in more than 40 hours per week," he said. "I like my job, but I wont miss the scoreboard not working, the (public address system) not working and having to figure out why, or having an official showing up late.''
Mike's dad, Robert, was a boys basketball coach at BGHS.
"Having an opportunity to come back here to a place that had been good to me and my family was good and hopefully I was good for Bowling Green,'' Mike Vannett said. "Students gain a lot of life skills in athletics. They have to learn about discipline, self discipline, time management, developing a work ethic, dealing with adversity."
Vannett isn't sure what he'll do in the future, but he didn't rule out being an assistant basketball coach or an administrator again.
"Athletics have always been a part of my life," he said. "I just like the athletic environment. I would like to stay active in some aspect of athletics. I don't need to be a head coach or an athletic director. I wouldn't mind getting back in assisting somebody in a program because it's just about working with kids. If there's something out there that looks good, I might consider it."