Steve Glesenkamp is headed back to his roots.
Glesenkamp, who has served as Director of Athletics for the past 23 years at Big Walnut High School, has accepted the AD position at Delaware Hayes High School, his high school alma mater.
Delaware’s month-long search for a new AD officially ended during last Wednesday’s (June 25) Delaware City Schools Board of Education meeting, when Glesenkamp was introduced as the new Athletic Director at Hayes High School. He replaces Clint Fetty who announced late last month that he was stepping down as athletic director to accept the same position at Ravenna High School.
“It was a great opportunity, one that I could not turn down,” Glesenkamp said, noting that he and his wife, Katy, have four children, two girls and two boys, who attend Delaware City Schools. Their daughter Brooke is a sophomore at Hayes, while daughter Kara and sons Scott and Stevie attend Smith Elementary School.
Glesenkamp, affectionately known as Steve G, has been with Big Walnut since 1983 as a teacher, assistant coach and assistant AD before becoming the full time high school AD in 1991. After graduating from Hayes in 1974, he graduated from The Ohio State University and earned a Masters in Sports Science from Ashland University. He is also active in the Ohio Capital Conference and a member of the Central Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Association.
His numbers at Big Walnut were impressive, to say the least. During his AD years, Golden Eagle athletes brought home 71 league and conference titles, 39 District titles, eight Regional titles, two State Runner-up titles, three State Championship titles, one Football AP State title, and an individual State title in track and field as well as 11 Indoor Track & Field District titles and an Indoor State Runner-up title.
The move to Delaware is not that surprising. The Hayes AD position was open, Glesenkamp resides in Delaware, he’s a Hayes graduate, and has four children attending Delaware City Schools.
“When the opening came up I jumped right in, interviewed, and feel fortunate to have been offered the job,” Glesenkamp said during an interview last week. “Besides being from Delaware, Delaware City Schools have a lot of momentum right now — academically and athletically — so there are a lot of things going on here that attracted me.”
Glesenkamp said he’s impressed with Delaware City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft, noting that Hayes’ athletic future looks very promising.
“There’s a new high school football coach, a new strength and conditioning coach, turf planned for the football field, track renovations, and upgrades for other athletic facilities,” he said. “All of that was appealing, and with my family in Delaware and living in town, I wanted to be part of it.”
Delaware Hayes’ athletics is Glesenkamp’s future. Right now, though, most Eastern Delaware County folks are looking back at his years at Big Walnut — the Golden Eagles’ past, present and future.
Glesenkamp said because Big Walnut High School is the smallest school in the Ohio Capital Conference and the Golden Eagle coaches have always had to do more with less.
“Because of Big Walnut’s size, and the size of other schools in the conference, Big Walnut coaches and athletes have always had to compete upward,” Glesenkamp said. “I’ve always been proud of Big Walnut’s coaches; their work ethic is unparalleled, and our athletes always played with an attitude and edge. No matter who they were up against, they were always ready to compete.”
Glesenkamp said the league, district and state championships have been outstanding. He said he’s especially proud of how well Big Walnut athletes have done academically, as well as athletically. He also said with the support of the alumni, parents and volunteers, all that has made for a very unique situation.
“These are the things I will really miss,” Glesenkamp said. “To be a very tiny part of those successes and the Big Walnut community is something I’ll never forget, but my proudest moment has always been every day when I walked in the door at Big Walnut High School, being passionate about our mission and treating every student athlete with respect and dignity. No matter what sport they’re involved in, I’ve always let the athletes know we supported them and that I, personally, was proud they wore our school colors.”
While at Big Walnut, Glesenkamp also formed the Scholar Athlete program and Athletic Wall of Fame, improved the soccer, baseball, track and softball complexes, expanded the weight room and equipment purchases and added swimming, gymnastics, bowling and lacrosse to the school’s list of athletic teams.
Glesenkamp said the success of Big Walnut High School’s athletic programs has even earned the school district a well-deserved reputation outside of Delaware County.
“I go into a grocery store in someplace like Grove City and folks see I’m from Big Walnut, and the first thing they always say is they heard we have a very good athletic program,” he said. “That’s always been important to me, because I’ve always wanted us to be respected outside of our community and around the state.”
Glesenkamp said residential growth is coming to the Big Walnut Local School District, and with that growth student population numbers will increase.
“Right now, Big Walnut High School has about 950 students,” Glesenkamp said. “Most schools we’ve competed against have 1,200 to 1,400 students. As the district grows the high school’s numbers will increase and it will get easier to compete against other conference schools.”
Asked for a parting thought or two, Glesenkamp didn’t hesitate.
“The past 31 years have been the greatest years of my life,” he said. “The relationships I’ve made at Big Walnut are relationships for a lifetime. Outside of my family, there’s nothing I’m more proud of than my years at Big Walnut.”