COLUMBIA – Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School has selected an athletics director. The decision was made about a week and a half ago after several candidates were interviewed during an eight-week selection process.
Chad Masters, a resident of Columbia, will join Columbia's first Catholic high school as the head of the athletics program. He will be responsible for leading the coaches and athletes of Tolton, as well as setting the goals and plans for the school’s athletics program.
Masters said that he has had about 12 years of experience with high school athletics, mostly in football and track. During his time as an assistant coach at Jefferson City High School, the girl's track team won four straight state championships and the football team reached the state semi-finals. Masters also coached at Hickman and Centralia high schools.
Masters was interested in teaching at Tolton because of his desire to incorporate faith, values and character into the school’s new athletics department.
"It's all about our Christian Catholic values and the character of our student athletes," Masters said. "I want to take a program and build things the right way, have kids of character who do the right things on and off the field.”
Tolton Principal Kristie Wolfe said Masters had a thorough knowledge of high school athletics and understands the mission of a Catholic school.
“We have the opportunity to teach our students important lessons in morality and ethics and Christianity through sports," Wolfe said. "He passionately believes in that mission.”
The development of the athletics department will follow a “fade in” plan, Masters said. The goal is to have cross country, track and field, golf, volleyball, tennis and basketball teams when the school opens. As more students join the school, the athletics program is expected to expand gradually to include football, softball, soccer and baseball.*
“It’s not a financial issue, but a numbers issue,” Masters said.
The plan, he said, will depend on student interest and participation, but he hopes to have a "full slate" of sports by the end of his third or fourth year.
Masters will be working with Wolfe to hire more coaches for the school as the opening gets closer.
“We have signed several other faculty members already and are narrowing our search to fill the remaining positions,” Wolfe said.
Masters will meet with the public at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10*, at Flanagan Hall in Our Lady of Lourdes Church to discuss plans for the athletics program. Parents and students are encouraged to come.