By Jeff Nations
FRONT ROYAL -- Ed Dike may be new to Warren County High School, but he's hardly a stranger to the sports community in this part of the state.
Dike, who started as Warren County's new athletic director on Monday, had previously worked with all but one of his fellow Bull Run District AD's when he held the same position at Buckingham County. That's the job he left to come to Front Royal.
"I had a lot of contact with Warren County wrestling when I was the wrestling coach at Louisa, and I got to be sort of buddies with them," Dike said. "I applied for a couple different jobs and this was one of them. I had applied for a job in the Richmond area and I applied for one in New Kent. I knew there were a lot of other AD jobs open in the state, but I only wanted to go places that I thought I would like."
It didn't take long for Dike, a longtime coach and teacher, to decide that Warren County was the place to be.
"Then I rode up here for the interview and saw the facilities and absolutely loved it," Dike said. "The fields are gorgeous. They've done a lot of work on those. But there's batting cage stuff and some fine-tuning here and there. I'm an aesthetic guy. I like things to look good and it was very obvious to me when I got here that these people took care of their stuff. The school is seven years old and looks brand-spanking new."
Dike said his new job has been "keeping me hopping," but the transition has been much easier thanks to Warren County assistant athletic director Dorinda Robinson.
"There's some stuff I need to work on," Dike said. "There are a few things that are real obvious. There's a lot of stuff that's already in place. I've never had an assistant athletic director. At Buckingham it was just me, and me and me. Dorinda has been a huge help these last few days getting acclimated to what's going on because it's a lot different."
Part of Dike's to-do list involves filling out the coaching staff for the coming year. He needs to find new coaches for both varsity and junior varsity cross country, junior varsity cheerleading and needs to fill a couple assistant coaching positions. Dike won't be coaching - that's the plan, anyway.
"I was not supposed to at Buckingham, but I had a soccer coach quit after three weeks and I became a head soccer coach," Dike said. "And it was a good thing I had a little bit of experience at it, too."
Dike has plenty of coaching experience in most sports except basketball. He played college football as a defensive lineman/long snapper at James Madison University, where he was teammates with current Central AD Kenny Rinker. Dike has also been a longtime football official, although he's not sure if that can continue in his new job.
"There might be some youth stuff or something I can do because I really enjoy it," Dike said.
Right now, he's focused on settling into his new job at Warren County.
"I'm excited about it," Dike said. "I met with the athletic association and we've got some plans going. There's a lot of enthusiasm."
Contact staff writer Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or email@example.com