David Dick knows he will face all kinds of challenges when he officially takes over as Fremd High School's athletic director in July.
One he'll face down the road is the potential for a house divided. Dick and his wife Jennifer have a daughter Rhiann (11 years old) and sons D.J. (9) and Darrin (5) who will eventually go to Palatine High School.
"That should make for an interesting cross-town situation," David Dick said with a laugh of his kids who are all involved in sports.
But that's a future "problem." Dick said his family is thrilled about his opportunity to lead an athletic department after more than 20 years as a coach and administrator at Barrington.
Dick will replace Augie Fontanetta, who is moving up to oversee athletics for all five District 211 schools. Dick was the athletic director at Barrington Middle School for eight years and he also spent the last two years assisting in the high school's athletic department thanks to a plan by principal Steve McWilliams and athletic director Mike Obsuszt.
"I've always had a passion for athletics -- I played in high school (Wauconda) and I've coached a lot of years here," said Dick, who was the Barrington varsity boys basketball head coach for the 2002-03 season and is currently a dean at the school. "When I got into administration, I figured why not go into something I have a love for, and that's athletics.
"It's the ultimate job I've been looking for and this happened to open up. This was the general progression and the next step."
Dick said the main season he focused on the last couple of years at Barrington was the spring. Considering the way this one has gone, it could be considered the ultimate proving ground for juggling game and practice schedules and officials. He has also been in charge of a lot of the state tournament events the school hosts.
"I've been a head coach for a year so that gives you some insight into how to run a program and those types of things," Dick said. "All of my administrative experience has really prepared me tremendously for this opportunity."
And it's not as if Fremd is unfamiliar territory since it's in the Mid-Suburban West with Barrington. Dick has known some of the coaches for years and has also spent time at Fremd to get to know some of the other coaches, teachers and administrators he'll be working with.
His main objectives are to make sure all of Fremd's athletes have the best possible experience and the program continues to succeed as it has for decades under Fontanetta and his predecessor, Jack Drollinger.
"One thing I really want to do is come in there and maintain what's been going on and give a little bit of a different perspective," Dick said. "It's not a place where you have to go in and make drastic changes. I want to let the coaches and student-athletes know I'm there in any way to support them and their programs because that's what it's all about.
"One of my goals is to make sure with the decisions I make, to make sure the student-athlete comes first. First and foremost it's about the student-athlete."
Living in Palatine for 14 years has given Dick the perspective he needs about the expectations for athletics in the community. He's also received some solid insight from Fremd principal Dr. Lisa Small and the other District 211 athletic directors have offered their support.
"A lot of people have given me a lot of good advice," Dick said. "I've tried to take it to heart and move forward with it."
Of course, in a few years he might be looking for advice on how to handle the cross-town rivalry at home.
Marty Maciaszek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org