Michaelis picked as new AD for Hays High

4/25/2014

By AUSTIN COLBERT

By AUSTIN COLBERT

Special to The Telegram

HAYS — It wasn't an easy decision for Chris Michaelis to stop coaching after the 2013 spring season. But after 17 years of leading the Hays High School girls soccer team, and 16 leading the boys, an opportunity presented itself for Michaelis to get involved on the administrative side, and he didn't want to pass it up.

"I have been involved with coaching for over 20 years throughout my teaching career. I've spent a lot of time with that and just felt like it was time for a change for me, professionally," Michaelis said. "I knew if I stayed in coaching it would probably be a long, long time before an opportunity would come, and I wanted to be ready if it presented itself."

Michaelis stepped into the role of Event Coordinator for Hays High this season. Instead of being on the sideline coaching, he helps set up events and eases the burden of the school's top administrators, including Athletic Director Clint Albers.

Then last month Albers announced he was going to take the AD job at Olathe South High School, beginning this summer. Hays High and Principal Marty Straub didn't wait long to find a replacement for Albers, opting to go with Michaelis despite his limited experience as an administrator.

Even so, Albers has full confidence Michaelis will be able to handle the position.

"He has shadowed me a little bit already this year from the event supervisor position. He has helped set up for events and tear down after events. He has seen that process," Albers said. "He's had some good experiences that way and taken baby steps. I think he is ready for this position, and it's something that he is looking forward to doing and has trained for."

Michaelis takes pride in the fact he has battled through what he called a "non-traditional route in education."

A graduate of Lyons High School, Michaelis got his start by earning his associate's degree from Barton Community College in Great Bend before taking time off from school to work.

He then joined the Army and spent five years on active duty, and was stationed in Germany for a time. Upon his release, Michaelis returned to school and earned his bachelor's from Bethany College in Lindsborg before he started teaching for the Manhattan Catholic Schools and later Manhattan High School.

After starting work on a master's degree at Kansas State University, it was years before Michaelis finished it, earning his graduate degree in school administration from Fort Hays State University in 2011.

"One thing, if I can be bold and say I'm proud of, is I've persevered through a lot of my own created obstacles," Michaelis said. "Between going to school and the military, I don't do things the easiest way. I hope people see that things aren't always easy, but we make them positive or negative. And I've chosen in my mind to at least make things positive."

Michaelis will officially take over Albers' role as AD/Assistant Principal on July 1. Until then, there is a lot left in the spring sports season and Michaelis hopes he can soak up as much as possible from Albers.

"Clint's done a tremendous job here as athletic director. He is going to be a great mentor watching him and following him. I look forward to working with him the last few months he is here, and he is definitely going to shed some light for me," Michaelis said.

"I just appreciate what he's done for me, not only as an athletic director, but also being able to help me and assist me and guide me in the upcoming year. He will probably be getting a lot of phone calls from me when he's at Olathe South."

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