New Basalt AD hopes to be active presence | AspenTimes.com

New Basalt AD hopes to be active presence

Get used to seeing a lot of Sean Nunan.

The new Basalt High School athletic director isn't the type to hide behind his administrative role. In fact, he'd likely be happier if you referred to him as "coach," as opposed to anything else.

"I always look at myself as a coach first, rather than an administrator," Nunan said. "The athletic administrator where I grew up was kind of someone that wanted to participate in everything like that. Then, it switched to someone who wasn't as involved, and it was a big difference. I always said if I ever became that role, I'd want to be the guy that was out there."

An energetic 25, Nunan believes being among the student-athletes to be every bit as important as the work he does from his office chair. After all, it wasn't that long ago when he was in their same shoes.

Nunan grew up in Connecticut, where he was an avid soccer fan. Soccer was nearly a year-round activity for him, with track and field filling in the gaps.

"I'd go right from practice for high school track, then I'd drive about an hour and 20 minutes to go play club soccer and get home at 11:30," Nunan said. "Man, you didn't want to know how late I was up doing homework."

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Nunan went on to be an NCAA Division III athlete in both sports at tiny Springfield College in Massachusetts — a school famously known for being the place graduate student James Naismith invented the sport of basketball.

As soon as he graduated with a degree in physical education and health, Nunan moved to Estes Park where he worked for YMCA of the Rockies. During that time, he also helped coach soccer and track at Estes Park High School and developed a love for the mountain lifestyle.

After a year in Colorado, Nunan returned to Springfield College where he graduated in May with a master's degree in education, with an emphasis on athletic administration.

"I've had a lot of different experiences. I've been an assistant coach for track and field at the collegiate level," Nunan said, also pointing out the two years he spent as the captain of the track team as an undergraduate. "All of those experiences have kind of led me to this position and having those experiences have been that much more meaningful to me to get a position like this and to try and give back to a small community like I grew up in."

Desiring to return west, Nunan applied for a different position in the Roaring Fork School District before being hired as Basalt High School's new athletic director. Three weeks in, he is still adjusting to his administrative role, but said he remains dedicated to being that active, out-there athletic director he always wanted to be.

"I absolutely have goals for the program. Right now, one of the biggest goals I have for myself is being a presence at every sport," Nunan said. "I can be an impact, I think, on a small community like this. That's why I'm here. I hope everyone else feels the same way. I'd like to channel all of our energy to creating a successful program, which in my opinion it's already been very successful. It's just taking us to the next level and progressing further."

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