Lamont resigns, but not without support


Brady Johnson, Sports Editor

Citing “personal reasons,” Athletic Director Ian Lamont has announced his resignation effective June 30.

Faced with an ever-growing series of outside criticisms from professional media outlets and lawsuits being filed against the school as well as the LOSD, those involved with the athletic department began to sense that it was time to go in a different direction.

“The job is cyclical,” said Lamont. “It requires a change in leadership often.”

Though a passing of the torch may be appropriate, Lamont will not be leaving with an absence of support and regard from the LHS community.

Students, staff members, parents and coaches have all expressed their fondness and appreciation for the growth in athletic success and school spirit that has ensued under the direction of Lamont.

Citing some of his many accomplishments, Principal Jennifer Schiele highlighted the substantial augmentation in LHS’s culture of excellence that Lamont helped foster.

“Ian has a huge heart and loves watching the kids excel. He truly bleeds Pacer blue and I feel very lucky to have worked with him. He really celebrated the kids accomplishments and when they worked hard.”

“He helped the athletic department grow with an introduction of online technology. The Twitter accounts and social media feeds- that was stuff we didn’t have before he got here.”

Senior baseball player Cooper Webster also expressed his appreciation for the job that Lamont has done in rebuilding a baseball program that went 1-24 in 2007.

“Ian Lamont has been an enormous help to the baseball program through his one-on-one support and by getting us new uniforms the past two years. He rebuilt our JV field and went to a lot of our games.”

Added ASB VP and senior soccer captain Nick Rooney, “Mr. Lamont was always super friendly and supportive of a team that isn’t always as popular around the schools. He’d come up to us at lunch and talk about our games and the season in general.”

“He just cared about us,” he said.

Lamont had a similar take on the accomplishments of his that he’s most proud of.

“Myself, Dr. Lehman and Dr. Schiele- we’ve changed the culture here,” said Lamont. “It all starts with the students to raise the bar. We’ve always talked about how it’s easy to be good but difficult to become great.

“Everyone now buys into the idea that as a school, we’ll always be good just how we are but to become great, win league and state titles, go deep into the playoffs, you have to work hard.”

Bear in mind how daunting of a task this initially appeared when LHS first petitioned to compete at the 6A athletic level while having an enrollment corresponding with that of a 4A high school.

The TRL is a pressure cooker, the most competitive league in the state for athletics bar none.

“It’s pretty remarkable for a school our size, in the league we’re in, to be as competitive as we are,” said Lamont.

Lamont again attributed this run of athletic success to the culture change that has been instilled.

“Athlete participation numbers are now at their highest and it begins with the different mindset kids have now adopted.”

“I see athletes and teams in the weight room that have never been in there before and kids taking it upon themselves to schedule voluntary workouts and go work on their own.”

“Just look at the work ethic of the cross country and track teams, with their year-long commitment and how their participation numbers are the highest.”

There’s no debating that Lamont has been the biggest influence in the rise of LHS athletics. Now, however, it’s time to look toward the future.

“I wish the new person good luck,’ said Lamont. “It’s a tough job with long hours. You definitely need to have a thick skin in dealing with the interests of the kids, their parents, and the community.”

Lamont is adamant that the new AD will have a strong support system to work with.

“Liz Murphy is a great assistant and will be invaluable.”

Schiele also affirmed that the job opening has been posted and will now be different than it was in the past.

“It’s actually going to be an administrative position, meaning that the new person will have to be licensed.”

“There are a lot of good candidates who have emailed me. The thing to remember though is there’s no “AD job school.” A lot of the job is managing the interests of the school and athletic department with those of the athletes and their parents.”

While he still has a couple more months of work to do here, Lamont is sad to be leaving.

“I’ll always love the kids and the relationships I’ve forged here with them and the staff. I’ll miss this school a lot but I’m excited for what’s next.”