The rumor that was swirling about officially came to fruition. Garnet Valley athletic director Joe DiAntonio is leaving the school to become an assistant principal at West Chester Rustin.
The move was first reported by Teddy Bailey on the @JagNationGV Twitter account. It was not considered official until DiAntonio was approved by the Rustin board a few days ago.
“The main reason for it was the professional opportunity that this brought along with it,” DiAntonio said. “It’s always been one of my career goals to be a principal at a middle school or a high school and this helps me get closer to that. To do that, I felt like I needed to kind of break away from the athletic side of things.”
DiAntonio isn’t gone yet, though. Because it’s a public school, GV can hold him for 60 days in his position, so DiAntonio isn’t sure as to when the exact date he’ll be leaving will be.
“They just posted my job today and it’s kind of a big challenge to hire an AD now because if it’s a sitting AD at another public school, that school can hold him or her for 60 days, too,” DiAntonio said. “So I intend to be here through the opening of fall camps right until the beginning of the school year.”
DiAntonio has been the Jaguars’ athletic director for the past five years and a teacher for four years. Prior to that, he served as Penncrest’s AD for two years. His time has been extremely successful and his track record of hiring coaches is stellar. That, plus the relationships he’s built and the development he’s overseen, made it that much tougher to leave GV.
“It’s sad leaving Garnet,” DiAntonio said. “It didn’t set in until (two weeks ago) when I was sitting in a meeting and realized, ‘I’m not going to be with these people anymore.'”
Five years can be a relatively short shelf life for an AD and there’s a lot to be done, but DiAntonio feels that he accomplished what he set out to do when he took over the job.
“I would say so,” DiAntonio said. “We wanted to create a program that develops kids and where they connect with the community. We wanted our teams to be focused on improving. The goal as an administrator is to always improve.”
“I think you’re starting to definitely see the point where kids are really putting in the extra time they need to be good,” DiAntonio added. “That’s carried over to our programs and another thing I’m pretty proud of is the number of our kids that you see playing at the next level.”
In DiAntonio’s time at GV, the school has blossomed into one of the most well-rounded athletic departments around. A lot of that has to do with the area’s growth, but DiAntonio’s work shouldn’t be ignored. The Jaguars are competitive in nearly every sport for both boys and girls, so much so that every single girls team reached the district playoffs this year and every one but the tennis team won at least one round.
“What I’ll remember the most is seeing kids come in as ninth graders, kind of wide-eyed and unsure of themselves, and leaving as successful young adults,” DiAntonio said.
Those interested in the now-vacant Garnet Valley athletic director position can click here to read the job description and requirements.