Social Studies teacher to Athletics Director: Meet Greg Decina

New+Athletics+Director+and+Assistant+Principal%2C+Greg+Decina%2C+organizes+the+HHS+athletics+program+from+his+first+floor+office.+

Sophia Khan

New Athletics Director and Assistant Principal, Greg Decina, organizes the HHS athletics program from his first floor office.

Allison Walker

 
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Former Social Studies teacher Greg Decina, an avid sports fan and athlete, is Haverford’s new Athletics Director. It started on the lacrosse field when he was in high school. While teaching, he coached golf, basketball, lacrosse, football, and practiced with the XC and tennis teams. Decina’s desire to become an AD has grown from experiencing the ins and outs of Haverford Athletics. His goal is to create an athletic program that will help prepare kids for their futures. Decina teaches students real-world skills – work ethic, character, time management, commitment, and more – through teamwork. This year’s goals are to increase communication, trust, and respect throughout the athletics program and, as Decina points out,  to win, “cause who doesn’t love to win!” 

AD Decina has worked hard throughout the busy fall season.  We discussed his thoughts and goals as he tackles the winter and spring seasons.

Fordian: Tell me what it’s like working at the school you graduated from. Is Haverford different? How do you feel it has changed? 

Decina: “Although it feels very different from when I was a student, there is a tremendous amount of pride in working here. It helps me to provide perspective from many angles as a student who grew up in the community, a teacher at the high school, and a coach at the high school.”

Fordian: Can you walk me through a normal day as Haverford’s AD?

Decina: “I arrive at 6:50 am and check my schedule for the day.  This schedule includes several meetings, practices, and games. Each practice and game requires a number of emails and calls to coaches, facility workers, referees, and transportation. Usually starting around 10 am, there are a number of meetings regarding athletics and student-equity work. I typically forget to eat lunch at the moment. Once school ends, I go for a run to as many practices and/or games as possible each day, and if there is a practice or game later, I will get home around 9:30 pm.”

Fordian: What do you miss most about being in the classroom?

Decina: I miss working with the kids on a day-to-day basis, though I do get to see them in a different light in my new role.”

Fordian: What winter sports teams does Haverford have this year?

Decina: “Haverford Athletics will have swimming and diving, basketball, wrestling, winter track and field, cheerleading, ice hockey, and unified bocce ball.”

Fordian: What sporting events should students keep a lookout for?

Decina: “All of our winter sports will kick off at the beginning of December.  Be sure to join us at girls and boys basketball games, wrestling matches, hockey games, and swim meets. Announcements will be made about when and where games will be held.”

Fordian: How do you plan to promote all sports, aside from just hockey, or basketball which are fairly popular? 

Decina: “I am doing my best to be present at all sporting events and practices. I want more kids supporting Haverford Athletics, I’ve been promoting events on Twitter, and games/meets will be live-streamed on Youtube. The Student Athletic Advisory Committee’s main goal is to increase student leadership and voice throughout athletics, including in the stands.”

Fordian: Can you tell me more about what the SAAC is?

Decina: “The SAAC is the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.  This is a group of junior and senior leaders from every sport. Student-athletes are invited by their coaches to participate in this group.  Our mission statement is: “In collaboration with the administration and staff advisors, the HHS Student-Athlete Advisory committee is a collective voice of student-athletes that work to enhance the athletic experience for all athletes at our school.”  Currently, we just discuss effective leadership and how to improve athletics at Haverford.”

Fordian: Is there anything you would like to say to the Haverford Student Section?

Decina: “We, at Haverford, are for things! We are for our team, our coaches, our cheerleaders, not against our refs or the other teams. Have as much fun as you can at athletic events while being safe, responsible, and respectful.” 

Fordian: Last question, do you have a message for the student body?

Decina: “The Athletic Department’s door is always open. If you have any questions or just need a helping hand, I am here for you.”

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