Last Thursday, John Green was officially named as the new Athletic Director for Clarendon College after spending just one month short of 25 years working for Frank Phillips College. That included spending the past 10 years as the FPC Athletic Director and the Plainsmen golf coach since 2006.
Earlier this week, Green took time to talk about his time at Frank Phillips College and looking ahead at leading the Clarendon College Bulldog and Lady Bulldog athletic programs. He also talked about the challenges junior colleges and their athletic programs are facing due to uncertainty that continues to go on in Austin.
When asked about his dismissal from the Frank Phillips College back in February, Green admits the decision to let him go was upsetting. But over the past two months Green has come to some understanding over the situation.
On the circumstances surrounding why the college decided to let him go, Green really didn’t give any specifics that could of led to the decision, but instead said, “The best way I can describe the circumstances for my dismissal is by comparing it to a team that gets a new coaching staff and decides to cut a veteran player. It doesn’t necessarily mean the player was doing a bad job, but for some reason their style of play doesn’t mesh with the direction or style the new coaching style is wanting to take.”
Green added, “I think that is the best way I can describe what took place here at Frank. I didn’t really fit with the direction the college was wanting to take in athletics under the new leadership of the school, so the decision was made to let me go.”
Green started his work at the college nearly 25 years ago by managing the Borger Community Activity Center, which he did for over 12 years. Green then got involved in helping lead the college’s student government before Dr. Herb Swender approached Green to name him as athletic director.
When Green took the AD position, athletics at the college had seen many years of struggles in trying to achieve on-field success with Green describing many of the programs as being the “doormats” of the WJCAC.
With the help of hiring some great coaches over the years and community support slowly building for the FPC Athletic programs, the past 10 years are ones Green looks back on with pride in leading the FPC athletic program.
The athletic program saw the growth of successful volleyball and golf programs that have combined for 14 national tournament appearances, as well as the men’s basketball team claiming its first ever WJCAC title during the 2006-07 season.
Green also takes pride in seeing several of the student athletes move on to four-year schools, saying, “I have been extremely happy with the number of kids that got scholarship opportunities to move on after their time here. That is the product of having good coaches that have expected their players to work hard on the field and in the classroom. It’s seeing those type of things that lets you know those kids are going to be successful in life down the road.”
That kind of commitment on and off the field have led to several Academic All-Americans, over the past several years, as well as the FPC Golf team being named the Golf Coaches Association Academic National Team of the Year in 2010.
Green also credits the work of Johnny Rusten and Chad Campbell for the work they have done with the Adopt-a-Student program in helping give the students a foundation they can depend on away from campus.
Green said, “For several of them moving so far away from home, it is a growing process many of these students go through when they come to school here. So it is great to have a program that provides the kids some support in the community away from the campus.”
In looking forward, FPC supporters will have a difficult time seeing Green wearing green and white instead of blue.
However, Green is excited about the opportunities that lay ahead in leading the Clarendon College athletic program.
Green is quick to praise the support he already has received from Clarendon’s administration that includes giving Green the go-ahead to start a men’s golf team that will begin play in the fall.
Of the golf team, “I have already been working the phones and have several golfers that are interested in coming to Clarendon to play. The response has been so good that I have already told the college president to expect the team to qualify for the national tournament in its first year.”
With all the positives, Green will admit there will be some challenges in his new role, which includes strengthening the support base within the Clarendon community.
But overall, Green believes the future looks bright, including the possibility of the school adding two or three more sports within the next couple of years.
Despite the change, Green is quick to say he still has a lot of loyalty to Frank Phillips and love for the Borger community saying “I might be wearing green now but I still have a lot of blue and gold running through my veins.”
For the near future, Green said his family will continue to live in Borger with his son, Dallas, planning to start his college education at Frank Phillips College this fall.
**In tomorrow’s paper, Green talks about the challenges junior colleges are facing from his perspective.