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10 Questions with…Athletic Director Keith Christnagel


Keith Christnagel became the newest athletic director at Woodhaven High School this year after being a teacher for 23 years. An athletic director is an important role to overtake in the district, as a large group of students are a part of Woodhaven athletics, and this director ensures all these students and sports are doing well throughout their season. With this huge transition from teacher to athletic director, most would like to know more about who took over this role and their goals for the year, so here are 10 questions to do just that.

How did you feel going into the year as our new athletic director? 

“It felt different because I wasn’t going to be coaching football anymore so I had to look at this year with a different perspective.”

What inspired you to take the athletic director job?

“I wanted to retire from coaching. I’ve been coaching for over 23 years and thought it was time to do so. This job gave me the opportunity to still work with athletics and the student athletes, an environment that I love to be around without having to coach.”

Was the transition difficult from a teacher to an athletic director?

“Not really. I’ve filled in as athletic director in the past, but it is very different work. In a classroom setting the work goes by hour after hour, but now it’s more different every hour and no two days are ever the same, making it more interesting and a great change of pace.”

How did you feel the fall season went for the sports all around?

“We had a good fall. We did really well in golf and had a great volleyball season. The soccer team placed second in the league. Both golf and cross country participated in the state meet. From top to bottom we were pretty successful.”

Is there anything you thought could improve for fall sports?

Being my first fall season as athletic director it takes time to watch and evaluate to see what we could do better. I’m in the process of learning these things because the fall season was new to me as an athletic director. The first year you mainly just watch and learn, and then going into the second year you figure out how to make things better.”

What is one pro and one con of being an athletic director?

“The pro is flexibility in your scheduling. The con is flexibility in your scheduling. One of the reasons I switched from being a coach to an athletic director is to watch my son play sports and attend his games, and this job gave me the flexibility to do it. This job did come with having to stay late for sports all the time, but this gave me more than just running through the same routine every day like I had to do for football.”

What are you doing to prepare for upcoming sport seasons?

“Helping coaches get their schedules set and work with transportation to make sure they have everything they need to have a successful season whether it’s equipment, uniforms, and other things to make the season as easy as possible for coaches. My goal is to take all the administrative work and stress off the coaches so everything can run smoothly for them and their athletes.”

How do you think your transition affected your relationships with students?

“I don’t think there was much change because I had a lot of these athletes now as students their sophomore year, and spent a lot of one-on-one time with them in class. I think it’s going to be more difficult to build relationships later on because we aren’t in a classroom environment where I’m face to face with them all the time, and seeing them after school I don’t really get to spend so much time with each individual group, but I feel all around that I’ll get to know more about student athletes.”

What are your expectations for athletic students?

“I expect them to attend and do well in school, and also be able to compete at a high level in their sports.”

What are you most excited about for the rest of the year?

“Growing athletically in terms of our teams improving from the beginning of the season to the end, especially with our upcoming teams who we have high expectations for. I’m excited to watch these teams grow and achieve more from past years.”

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