About three weeks ago Jim Barre was enjoying his 7th year of retirement, getting up late, playing a lot of golf and coaching a little football. All of that changed with a call from his friend and La Salle's principal, Aaron Marshall.
During the summer, former Athletic Director Keith Pantling had decided to take the AD job at Little Miami High School. Aaron had worked with Jim at Wyoming High School and decided to give him a call to see if he had any interest in the job. Jim had 26 years of experience at Norwood and Wyoming High Schools serving as athletic director. He had also spent a year coaching football at La Salle and enjoyed it very much. Jim's wife is a secretary at La Salle so he had a ride to school everyday.
So when Aaron asked him if he would serve as interim AD he said yes on the condition that he would only be here until they found a permanent AD. Jim said of his new job, "Its kind of like riding a bike. I've done it for so many years. You know what you need to do. Every school, however, is a little different and there is a little learning curve."
Jim coached football at Walnut Hills High School last year with head coach Jerry Beauchamp, the former La Salle offensive coordinator.
La Salle's plan is to complete a search for a new AD in January. Jim is not interested in continuing any more than the rest of this school year. Realistically the new AD probably couldn't take over until June because they would be under contract.
Number 1 Priority And Concern
When asked what his #1 priority would be for the upcoming school year Jim answered, "Support the coaches as best I can in what they do and try to meet their needs and requests within budget. My biggest concern is getting to know everybody and understand what is required at this school that might be different from the other schools I have been at. There is a lot of help here and a lot of people that volunteer and that is great."
Asked how his job was going after 15 days Barre replied, "It has been tiring getting up and coming in every day. There is a learning curve but a lot of things are the same. We have had a head coaches' meeting where I got to meet everyone. We met with the fall parents last night and it went well. Our first home event is tomorrow, a scrimmage with Lakota East. The people that work here are great. It has been fun so far, but tiring."
Jim Barre said that brand new LED lights are being installed in the football stadium. It is anticipated that it will make the field much brighter. They should be ready for the first home game against Mason on the 31st of August. Also new exhaust fans have been installed in the gym. Of the fans Jim said, "It should make it a little different during games. You can really feel the airflow when you walk in there."
Scheduling for the fall is completed and the winter is just about finished. Spring sports are not finished yet. Next fall needs a lot of work also. At this time football has four openings for 2019. Basketball is set for this year and Jim has not discussed next year with Coach Goedde yet.
On scheduling the five out-of-state teams this year Jim added, "I don't know if it was a good or bad thing but it was a necessity. With the GCL you have only three league games, which means you have to come up with seven non-league games. The first and second games and maybe even the third are easier to fill because teams have not started league play yet. However, when you get into games 4-10 everyone else in the Cincinnati area is beginning league play."
"The only alternative is to look outside the Cincinnati area. Winning the three state championships has made it harder to schedule. Teams shy away from playing us because of our past success. We have the 4th, 5th and 7th week open next year so I have been contacting some out of state teams."
"The Harbin rating system causes a lot of problems. You only get points for a win. The only kind of team that will schedule us in Ohio is a team that thinks they are going to beat us."
"I have been down to a couple of practices and had lunch with the coaches. I knew some of the coaches from coaching here in 2013. I haven't watched much practice so I don't have a good feel for how things are going yet."