Facing the prospects of tighter budget constraints and big shoes to fill, Ron Coombs is up for a challenge. Coombs will be taking over as the athletic director at Reed High School.
“It’s something that I kind of thought would be a nice thing to do,” Coombs said.
Coombs, a Reed and University of Nevada graduate, has taught at Reed High School since 2004. He started coaching for the Raiders in 1999 as a junior varsity softball coach and later working as an assistant on the varsity team.
He has coached football since 2001 but he will be giving that up to focus on his new role at RHS.
“Coaching is one of the things I had to give up,” Coombs said. “It was a difficult process. I’ve been with the football program for eight years. … It’s an opportunity for me to help all the athletes in the school as opposed to just one singular sport.”
Coombs heard of Jamie Felten’s retirement, after 31 years of service at Reed High around May 1. The job opened up to Reed staff and Coombs turned in his resume the following week.
“It’s just a chance to kind of give more back, so to speak, to Reed.” Coombs explained. “Coaching football and coaching softball for as long as I did, you’re involved with that sport. But this is a chance to be involved with all the athletics here.
Coombs will also teach two government classes next year.
With some competition for the position, Coombs was selected to become the next AD for the Raiders.
“I think part of it was how extensive the visions and goals were,” Coombs said on his selection. “That’s what I like to think it was. I went here, I coached here, and obviously I teach here. There are areas where I think we can improve.
“Not that we need massive improvement at Reed, we have a great program here. We have great athletic programs. I think our reputation in the district is excellent. There’s always things you want to tweak. There’s always things you could go this way or that way with.”
Coombs has many ideas for the future of Reed. One of his main goals will be working on improving the school’s facilities, the budget allowing.
“We’re an older school,” Coombs said. “Our facilities need improvement. We’re an older school and we kind of fall into the category in the district, of that mid-ranged level of age. Our facilities need some improvement.”
Another thing Coombs has in mind is working on the Reed Web site to give college’s better access to see what kind of athletes Reed has to offer, in hopes of better recruitment.
“With recruiting budgets around the country going down, especially for lower tier schools, the ability to get out and see as many people as possible is not there,” Coombs said. “One of the things I really want to do is be able to upload video of ours kids, and give people an opportunity, from different schools around the country to see our kids.”
One challenge Coombs faces is the budget crisis. In mid-June, he will attend a meeting on what could be the final ruling on a proposal to cut expenses for Nevada’s prep athletic budgets.
“That’s going to be the main issue for at least the foreseeable future,” Coombs said. “Anytime there are cuts, athletics is an area that they tend to look at. It’s going to be an issue. I think fundraising will probably be an issue as well.”
The meeting in June will be one of Coombs first obligations as the new AD of Reed High School.
While he faces challenges, Coombs looks forward to working with the administration and staff on another level.
“The thing I’m looking most forward to is the involvement with with all the different sports and all the different aspects of what it means to be the athletic director at Reed,” Coombs said.
As Coombs heads into the end of the school year, he doesn’t get a break, seeing as how offseason football and workouts for fall sports are already in an early swing.
“The short term goal is to make sure that we continue to do the things we’re doing,” Coombs said. “I want to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible for the student-athletes, for the coaches, for parents. It’s going to be different obviously.”