ORFORDVILLE, Wis.—The Parkview Vikings didn’t have to look far in the search for its new athletic director.
Parkview veteran Guy Stricker has been involved as a teacher, varsity assistant and youth coach for several years, and the Parkview school district recently announced Stricker as the choice to replace Shane Suehring, who will stay in the district but relinquished his duties to spend more time with his kids and their activities.
Stricker, a graduate of Janesville Craig and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, said he challenge of leading a department for the first time in the midst of a global pandemic provides an interesting challenge.
“This isn’t something that anyone has dealt with in the past, so it’s a unique circumstance,” Stricker siad. “But I’m hoping that we are going to play fall sports, just like everyone else is. The first step from the WIAA, with those instructions, I think was a really good sign that they plan to move forward, as long as its safe for the athletes.”
Stricker, a teacher and coach at Parkview for the past decade, also has added assistant principal to his list of responsibilities, and says that role is taking a large chunk of time as well.
“It looks like we are planning to start school at the normal time, but it’s not going to look the same,” Stricker said. “I was just meeting with our principal and we were talking about how we are planning on having three lunch periods instead of two and things like that. But I know as an athletic director, I have a meeting in Stevens Point coming up, and a girls co-op hockey meeting, so things are moving forward.”
Stricker said a main goal of his is to establish consistency within the program. The program made a positive switch when it went from being the smallest school in the Rock Valley Conference to the much more comparable Trailways Conference. The WIAA has since moved the Vikings to the SWAL for football, with an eye on restructuring again in the future.
“I think it’s really important to have some continuity,” Stricker said. “We can’t keep switching conferences every few years. But we went from being by far the smallest schools in the Rock Valley, and still having some success, to being in the Trailways and have seen a big bump. We’ve had conference titles and regional titles since we moved there, and now with the WIAA wanting everyone to get closer, being moved into the SWAL is going to be tough, but I love a challenge. We need to get our youth programs and our high school programs on the same page, and down the road in the not too distant future, my goal would be for us to be competitive regardless of what conference we’re in.”
Stricker has experience coaching a number of sports on a number of levels. He’s coached middle school football and cross country, JV and varsity baseball and football with varying ages.
“I even took over the golf team when a coach had surgery and couldn’t do it,” Stricker said. “This will be my 17th year overall of coaching at least one sport.”
Stricker said his dual role with help with communication within the department.
“As an assistant principal and athletic director, I’ll be able to answer almost any question a coach would have,” Stricker said. “There won’t be a middle man anymore to go through, because if things like eligibility are a concern, I’ll be the one who handles all that and makes the decision.”