Jones seems good fit for Central AD chair
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:44AM
There’s no turnstyle or password to gain entrance into Hinsdale Central’s athletic department. It just seems that way.
Only a few athletic directors have sat in the chair for any length of time since the stewardships of Harvey Dickinson, Gene Strode and Ken Schreiner, who made their marks as football coaches.
Meet Dan Jones, Central’s newest AD. He has football in his background, too.
Jones, who served 22 years at DeKalb High, succeeds Central’s Paul Moretta, who remains at Central as a social studies teacher with an emphasis on global issues after guiding the athletic department through the installation of two turf fields.
“Paul has been very helpful in showing me around and introducing me to the staff,” Jones said. “I’m very impressed. I met everyone informally right away and am starting to meet everyone individually. I’ll hit the ground running when I get back from a family vacation in July in the Smoky Mountains.”
Jones’ family includes wife Julie; sons Jacob and Evan are wrestlers at Harper College, and daughters Sophie and Lily are in middle school.
Choosing the mountains for a get-away was a democratic family decision.
“We had some votes for Hawaii and some for Disneyland, but the Smoky Mountains won,” Jones said, laughing.
Jones heard of Central’s job opening from other coaches and friends.
“They thought it might be a good fit for me and they were right,” Jones said. “I’m thrilled about this. Hinsdale Central is sound academically and athletically. It has a great history.”
Jones is aware of a troubling trend of parents applying pressure on high-school ADs and coaches. Central is no exception.
“Parents everywhere have their kids’ interests at heart, and that’s the way it should be,” Jones said. “We’re going to agree on most things, but on the flip side we’re going to have our disagreements. There is no winner or loser when that happens. We all want to get it right and move on.”
Hinsdale High School District 86 got it right for Central with AD Jones. It rejected a previous candidate for an undisclosed reason.
One Chicago newspaper takes its All-State Academic Team as seriously as the high-school seniors who are named to it. They are chosen for “a number of gifts, including straight-A grades, artistic talents, scientific prowess and intense generosity.”
Hinsdale South’s Emily Fung made the newspaper’s Honorable Mention list for all those reasons, plus giving athletics a try “just for the fun of it.”
“Nothing Emily tries surprises me,” girls track coach Matt Guritz said. “She’s a great kid who’s willing to try anything.”
Fung ran cross country in the fall, was a reserve shooting guard on South’s league championship team in winter and ran the 800- and 400-meter events in track in the spring.
“I didn’t play very much in basketball, but that’s OK,” said the diminutive Fung, who plays piano at the Wheaton Chinese Alliance Church. “I have a lot of friends on the team. I was so happy when we won conference.”
Fung plans to run Chicago’s half-marathon with friend Casey Eilbert.
Fung, who was president of South’s National Honor Society, will attend Northwestern University with a major in social policy.
“My goal is nonprofit management,” she said. “Northwestern is the only college with social policy.”