Athletic Director Kaspar to retire

Published on Monday, 5 May 2014 22:40 - Written by CHRIS PARRY

Tyler ISD athletic director Rod Kaspar announced Monday afternoon that he had submitted a letter of resignation for retirement to the Tyler ISD school board that he expects to be approved.

“You get to the point where the time is right and the time is right for me to retire, so that is what I am going to do,” Kaspar said by telephone. “We are going to make a home here in Tyler and are looking forward to taking it easy for a while and watching athletics (out of the limelight).”

He said there were no specific reasons for this decision, except to reiterate that it was time to step out.

“It was something that I discussed with my wife and we both thought it was the best thing to do at this time,” Kaspar said. “I really appreciated my time in Tyler. I was accepted by the community and both high schools and all the middle schools; the coaches were outstanding and I made a lot of friends. This is where I am going to retire for the rest of my life and I think it’s a great place to be.”

Kaspar leaves Tyler ISD after three years as athletic director. During his tenure, the athletic facilities at John Tyler and Robert E. Lee have received upgrades as well as new field turf at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Kaspar also led the way to establish the Tyler ISD Athletic Hall of Fame, which had its first inductions last year.

“I have worked with a lot of great people and they have become good friends,” Kaspar said. “I feel like some changes I made in the district make it look a little better than when I came here. I am real proud of the success that both athletic programs have had… both high schools. There is always room for improvement and whoever comes in after me will continue that.”

Kaspar was named athletic director in May of 2011 replacing Danny Long who had departed five months earlier to be athletic director at Conroe ISD.

During his tenure as athletic director, Kaspar hired Ricklan Holmes as John Tyler head football coach and Darrell Piske at Robert E. Lee.

Holmes has piloted the Lions to the 4A state semifinals the past two years.

John Tyler and Lee have produced numerous playoff teams in the past three years, along with regional champions in track and field and state qualifiers in golf, track and field and tennis.

Kaspar believes his biggest success and legacy is the hall of fame.

“That was an idea that I brought with me and we finally got it off the ground and to be totally honest with you, it snowballed into something even bigger than I thought it would be,” Kaspar said. “The community really supported it and got behind it. We’ve got a lot of support to continue it and I think that is something that will be a mainstay in Tyler ISD for a long time and I am very proud of that.

“I got to meet a lot of people through this award that I might not have had a chance to meet and learned a lot about the history of Tyler athletics.”

Tyler ISD is weeks away from its superintendent leaving and now has an athletic director to replace. Robert E. Lee is in the process of finding new head coaches for both boys and girls basketball.

Kaspar said he is more than happy to step out of the way and allow those processes to intensify.

“Going forward with this will give them an opportunity to get someone in here before the summer and be ready to roll when football starts,” Kaspar said. “We’ve got four games lined up for the (Trinity Mother Frances Football) Classic, so I am excited for whoever comes in here. I think the foundation is laid for continued success in Tyler ISD athletics.”