Sleepy Hollow AD leaving:
Second-year Sleepy Hollow AD Denise Kiernan
submitted her resignation last week and will depart June 30, The Journal News reported.
Her resignation came just two days after Kiernan participated in a panel discussion about diversity at The Journal News offices. Kiernan, previously the AD at Glen Cove, was one of eight female ADs out of 70 in Section 1 examined for the project.
In 2018, Kiernan was named just the second female president of the New York State Athletic Administrator Association. She served this year on the NYSAAA executive board as past president.
More on athletic directors: The Journal News took a look at the makeup of athletic directors in Section 1 and found that 58 out of the 70 are white males and eight others are white females, leaving just four jobs (5.7 percent) for minorities.
That's even more extreme than NCAA data from 2018 showing that white men and women held down 85 percent of college athletic director jobs.
"I believe that racism does still exist in hiring processes; it just isn't as obvious as it once was," said Richard Lapchick, the director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport and the president of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice. "It is unfortunately a common trend that we see across most administrative positions. ... It is good that we are recognizing the issue now, but there is much work to be done to improve diversity."
Despite many ADs reporting low interest from minority and female candidates, Lapchick said favoritism remains one of the biggest issues.
"Individuals continue to be hired based on who they know instead of what they know or what they can bring to an organization," he said.
Colleges are generally free to hire as they see fit, though a background in finance is frequently seen as important. At the high school level in New York, the rules make access to AD jobs somewhat difficult.
Most districts look to hire a director of health, physical education and athletics, which requires an administrator who not only handles teams for all sports, but also oversees physical education and health classes. To apply for such a position, a degree in physical education and a School District Leader (SDL) certificate are mandatory.
That combination of qualifications trumps the high school social studies teacher with advanced academic degrees who's coached for 20 years, served as the sectional chairman in their sport and on sectional and/or NYSPHSAA executive committees.
"A lot of students get very turned off by the idea of getting into that profession because they would have to take that line of coursework," Kiernan said.
Section 3 keeps options open: Another rainy spring has Section 3 officials considering whether to open its baseball and softball playoffs up to all teams for the third straight year.
Teams are normally required to win 40 percent of their games to qualify for sectionals. Weather has made it difficult for teams to finish their regular-season schedules ahead of cut-off dates next week. Teams with a 4-8 record right now might not have a chance to squeeze in enough of their remaining games to climb to 7-10, which would be enough to qualify.
"We haven't made that decision yet," Section 3 Executive Director John Rathbun said. "Hopefully we'll have an answer by the end of the week."
In baseball, Watertown IHC has played only seven games. In softball, Fayetteville-Manlius has only logged eight games and LaFayette seven.