CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County public schools are moving ahead with a new position that will help the districts high schools and middle schools provide a better experience to student-athletes.
John Sgromolo is leaving his post as the baseball coach and athletics director at Ridgeview high school for the new position of Coordinator of district athletics and development. It’s similar to the kind of position that Duval County Schools has with County Athletics Director Tammy Talley, and it’s a big step for Clay County schools.
“The big six counties in the state of Florida, have a full-time county athletic director, and it’s awesome to see Clay County being at the cutting edge on the athletic front,” Sgromolo said. “That’s really going to provide a better experience for all the students to Clay County.”
Unlike counties like Duval, Orange, Broward, and Hillsborough that have major city centers in them, Clay County has to operate differently. And after six years at Ridgeview, Sgromolo knows all about the community.
“There are so many business owners and people that are in Clay County who graduated from Clay County Schools, and that’s going to be awesome to connect with those people and build relationships,” Sgromolo said. “Ultimately, it comes back to creating the best student-athlete experience we can for our kids.”
Before the creation of Sgromolo’s current role, Michael Wingate held a role that was focused as much on academics as athletics. When Wingate retired, it gave the district a chance to create this new position that can focus on all of the administrative keys that the district has.
“Communications with the FHSAA, making sure that all of our all of our schools are in compliance with state policies, professional development of athletic directors and coaches,” Sgromolo said. “There’s also a lot of a lot of legal changes that are happening in the athletics world really is pertains to concussions and illness, and it’s very important that you know we’re at the forefront of that for the safety of our student-athletes.”
Sgromolo, who played baseball in high school and college before a stint in the minor leagues, will begin his duties on July 1, but he’s already formulating plans to make a difference for the seven Clay County high schools and the middle schools right away.
“Those were the best times in my life and that’s one of the most rewarding parts of what I do is I get to give those memories to kids and that’s what it’s all about,” Sgromolo said.