FORT WAYNE – With his positive personality and strong affection for his alma mater, Jim Huth might be the perfect fit to guide the wounded Bishop Luers athletic program through some tough times.
Amid the dark cloud of former AD and football coach Matt Lindsays firing and subsequent allegations involving inappropriate videos just a few weeks ago, the 1981 Luers graduate officially took the reins as the leader of the athletic department Monday and promised the Knights would move forward.
It started at 8 oclock this morning, and right now it is just a matter of catching up with where we are and getting all the tournament information in, Huth said of his first acts as AD. It is quite a learning curve for me right now. It is not the situation you want to come in under, but it seems to be working right in terms of where my life is right now and what the school needed to move forward.
Lindsay was the schools AD for 21 years and football coach for 26 before being put on administrative leave Sept. 13 and fired three days later. Assistant athletic director Diane Karst and athletic secretary Joni Kuhn have been holding down the fort since Lindsays departure. Steve Keefer, Principal Mary Keefers husband, has been the interim football coach for all but one of the four games the three-time defending Class 2A state champions have played since.
The success the players have, and the quality of the coaches we have and the history is the best PR we have, Huth said of any athletic department public relations makeover. If we stay focused on growing kids and making them great adults, the PR takes care of itself.
Huth knows of the Luers athletic tradition, which includes state titles in football (10), girls basketball (six), boys basketball (two) and baseball (one) among the accolades. He was a standout soccer player at the school.
The tradition here is incredible, he said. Being part of that tradition in the 1980s and being able to work here under Mary Keefer is quite an honor. The future of the programs is awesome. We are very excited about the current season that is going on.
A former headmaster at Imagine MASTer Academy charter school and assistant principal, teacher and coach at Columbia City, Huth says he has never been too far away from Luers and has a son, Nathan, who is on the soccer team.
I have been involved in fundraising and helping coaches to other activities here, he said. You never get too disconnected.
One of Huths first items has been the recent development the football team might have to forfeit its 27-7 win over Wayne on Sept. 14 because of an ineligible player.
Its down with the IHSAA right now, and they are looking through it right now, Huth said of the situation. It is making sure the paperwork was filed right. If not, we are waiting on a decision from them. As soon as they give us direction on our next step, we will go from there. We have openly reported, and it is in their hands now.
According to IHSAA sports information director Jason Wille, nothing regarding the Wayne-Luers football game has been received as of Monday by either commissioner Bobby Cox or Robert Faulkens, the assistant commissioner in charge of football.