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Man for the job

Basalt athletic director Mike Green recently announced that, after six years at the school, he is leaving for Rifle. Let me be the first – or 200th – to wish him well. The administration is already searching for Green’s replacement, which I’m sure is no easy task. That’s why I’m here to lend my services. I already know of one candidate who would be a perfect fit. Here’s a hint: He’s the dapper gentleman whose mug sits at the top of this column. That’s right. Yours truly is now ready to throw his hat into the ring. I’ve talked to my boss and my parents, who say they are behind me despite having spent countless thousands putting me through journalism school. I’ve dusted off the résumé – and a few old references – and pressed my one suit. Game on. Am I the most well-qualified applicant in the pool? Probably not. I’m sure I’ll be competing against distinguished men and women with the right pedigrees. I’m sure there are a crop of internal candidates whose dedication and relationship with the school will be hard to overlook.I don’t have a master’s or any relevant teaching experience. I wasn’t much of an athlete and didn’t compete at the collegiate level. (You can’t letter in beer pong or flag football, right?) But I’m almost positive that no one has logged more hours in the Big House bleachers in the past year. I know high school sports. And I know kids – heck, I still am one. On at least a dozen different occasions, I’ve been approached at sporting events and asked if I write for the school newspaper. I could provide a fresh face and a unique perspective.Sure, I look young, but everyone here at the Times seems to take me seriously (and the middle school jokes are slowly dissipating). And look on the bright side: If the baseball team is a player short, just hand me a uniform and stick me in right field. Now that’s being hands-on.Did I mention I have coaching experience? Sure, I taught pitching and hitting to 10-year-olds for a month eight summers ago, but I learned some valuable lessons to impart on impressionable student-athletes. I may have to change my approach, though; describing a player’s glove hand as an alligator waiting to scoop up a fish during fielding practice might not be well-received at this level. I’m not quite sure how my four summers of landscaping applies to this job (unless the school is looking to plant some pachysandra to increase curb appeal), but my eight months at the Colonial Carwash will be instrumental in helping me lead fundraising efforts. I’m not ashamed to admit I can work wonders with a spray bottle of wheel bright and some steel wool. Bring on those new uniforms.I won’t begin to pretend like I know anything about budgeting, scheduling or discipline. But one of my true strengths is being eager to learn, and I’m more than willing to admit when I don’t have a clue – that’s often the case. You can rest assured that I will run a clean program. I am a man of integrity. (I was never charged for that incident in Montreal back in ’02). There will be no academic scandals, no gambling and certainly no point shaving – because I don’t even know how to shave. I may be a long shot, but I will be the most committed. Believe me when I say that I have no social life and am willing to devote every second of my time to this job and these kids – if I spend one more day at Little Annie’s, people are going to start to think I live there. And I like cafeteria food, which is a plus.Basalt’s athletic department should foster leadership and provide its student-athletes with worthwhile learning experiences. I believe I am the man to lead that charge. Here are a few words of advice for all the high school athletes out there: 1. Cherish every moment you spend on the field and the time you spend with your teammates.2. Work hard on and off the field, and strive for excellence. 3. Be careful adjusting your cup if you just rubbed Icy Hot on your pitching arm.Those lessons will last a lifetime. Jon Maletz, aka “The Hammer,” still resents the fact that he peaked in high school. He can be reached at jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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