WOODSTOCK — Justin Broughman felt it was time for a change.

The Central athletic director decided he wanted to get back into teaching and recently resigned as athletic director. Broughman will finish out the high school season, his last day is June 30.

“I just kind of took an introspective look and said who am I as a person?” Broughman said. “And I didn’t go to college to be an athletic director. I never really aspired to be an athletic director until working with (former Central Athletic Director and the late) Kenny (Rinker). And I always felt like my calling was working more one-on-one with kids and I just kind of missed that. The feeling of being able to get to know kids on a more personal basis.”

Broughman said he also felt like he accomplished what he set out to do when he took the Central athletic director job five years ago.

“When I first applied in 2017, I created a 20-page document that was here’s all the things that I noticed that Central needed to improve upon or here’s where I thought we could do better,” Broughman said. “And I called that in my interview my five-year plan. And now that five years have gone by, I have gone back several times and looked at that plan, and I feel most of the things on there other than just a handful of things we’ve accomplished during that time.”

Broughman taught history at Bath County for four years before coming to Central where he taught history for four more years. He took the Central athletic director job in 2017 and now is headed to James Wood High School, where he will again teach history. He said he accepted the job last week, but wasn’t sure if the Frederick County School Board had approved it yet.

“I’m looking forward to kind of the challenge of it,” Broughman said. “Kids have really changed a lot since COVID. COVID pretty much defined the two years in the middle of my athletic director career, and I’m eager to see what it’s like to teach post-COVID.”

Broughman’s resignation was approved by the Shenandoah County School Board last week. He said he will try to help whoever is hired to replace him as much as possible before he leaves on June 30.

Broughman said he had been thinking about making the change for a while, but decided to do it last week when he accepted the James Wood job.

Broughman said some of his favorite memories from being an athletic director came from seeing the players win and celebrate their accomplishments.

“I think the best ones are just when kids do something great or advance to a tournament or advance to states, advance to a state championship game and that level of jubilation and joy,” Broughman said. “That’s what I really have the fondest memories of. We’ve been really successful, especially the last two years. I think about the region championship for the boys team in 2020 right before COVID in basketball. That one stands out as just a huge accomplishment — first one in 40 years for the school. I think about what we’ve done in football the last two years. That double overtime game at Spotswood against East Rock and Tyler Nickel. That’s probably the singular game that I think back to as the coolest sporting event I’ve been to in my life. Girls tennis has been successful for a number of years, advancing to the state championship last year. Volleyball going to the state championship last year. Boys soccer doing things that our school has never seen before last year. Multiple state champions in wrestling. In 2018, 2019 what (Central graduate) Kyle Clanton was doing. That stands out, pouring rain at the state track meet and him running the state championship pace in the 400, his last event. Just all of that. It all just kind of comes together. The lasting memories are everything about our kids.”

Broughman said he’s also proud of some of the things he’s accomplished during his time.

“Id say my proudest accomplishment can be that I’ve always tried to put importance on every single team,” Broughman said. “And a lot of times football and basketball kind of reign supreme at school. But I really feel like that here across the board that I’ve loved everybody equally, and tried to treat everybody equally. So that’s one accomplishment that I think our teams that don’t get the fan fare or that don’t get the turnout as some of the marquee sports, that I’ve been able to give them some recognition. I think that I’ve helped to make the place look a little bit better. ...Just trying to make the place look nicer, make outside spaces look better. And try to keep them well-maintained. I think that if people see that you take good care of your stuff that they’re more inclined to help you take care of it. A big accomplishment for the school is that we’ve had a lot of coaches who have stuck around for a long time. We’ve not had a whole lot of turnover on our coaching staffs. I think that’s really a testament — it’s not about me — it just shows how nice of a place this is to work and to coach and the kids.”

Broughman said he was also proud of replacing the uniforms for the teams. He said when he first started some of the uniforms were 10 years old.

One of the reasons Broughman, who was also an assistant baseball coach at Central, took the athletic director job was Rinker. Broughman said he cherished the memories he had with Rinker.

Broughman said he also learned a lot, including a lot about himself, from being athletic director.

“I definitely learned how to interact with people,” Broughman said. “How to take people that may not share the same opinions, same beliefs as what you have, and try to get them to buy into what you’re selling. Patience with kids. We understand that we’re in the business for kids. And a lot of times kids make poor decisions, and trying to help them to make better decisions. Something that I’ve learned about myself is that when you think the tank is completely empty there’s always a little bit more fuel left and you keep going just a little bit more. It’s an exhausting job — 14, 16 hour days — but you always can grind down if you keep that point of doing what’s best for the kids at the forefront.”

– Contact Tommy Keeler Jr. at tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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