ZANESVILLE – Aaron Bates has always had an affinity for Muskingum County.
It’s the main reason the John Glenn product decided to return to the area by accepting the athletic director role with West Muskingum recently.
“It’s really the reason I got into being an athletic director,” Bates said. “I left working in colleges so I had a chance to be closer to home and work with kids who grew up like I did. I want to offer them anything I can to help.”
Bates, a Michigan State graduate, was an athletic director for Fairfield Christian Academy in Lancaster the past two years. That experience has aided his transition to lead the Tornadoes’ athletic programs.
“They treated me well, and I appreciated my time there,” he said. “I learned a lot about the OHSAA rules, the financial side, dealing with kids and parents and budgeting. There’s a lot that goes into getting ready for that first Friday night that people don’t know, but I have a jump-start now since I know what I need to do.”
His move to West Muskingum has also been aided by area athletic directors, including Maysville’s Mark Rider, who was the athletic director at John Glenn when Bates was in high school, and John Glenn current athletic director Dan Adams.
His familiarity with people in those roles throughout the Muskingum Valley League helps with the learning curve.
“I’ve grown up with most of these guys whether they coached me or against me or I played with their kids,” Bates said. “I’m looking into what our school needs and getting organized to help our school head in the right direction.
“There’s a lot I’m still learning and trying to figure out,” he added. “I want to provide some leadership and give back to the athletes. I’m excited to be back and looking forward to the challenges ahead.”