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North Putnam hires Danaher as new AD

Saturday, October 13, 2012

John Danaher
BAINBRIDGE -- The North Putnam School Corporation announced on Friday that it has hired John Danaher to become the new athletic director.

Danaher previously served as the AD of the Niles school district in Niles, Mich.

"This is an occupation that I truly love," Danaher said. "My goal is to be as active as I can be in supporting the student athletes and coaches."

Danaher graduated from Mishawaka High School before accepting a football scholarship to the University of Montana.

He and his wife, Judy, have three children -- Matthew, 25; Justin, 21; and Katie, 19.

The athletic director position became available after former AD Rich Bagienski unexpectedly announced his resignation on Aug. 3.

NP superintendent Dan Noel said there were 39 applicants for the position, with nine receiving interviews.

Noel said he was asked by the school board to undertake exhaustive background checks on the applicants, including calling people listed as references, and people who were not listed.

The top four candidates interviewed with four school board members, high school principal Alan Zerkel, middle school principal Terry Tippin and Noel.

Danaher said his first day on the job was Friday, as he hoped to attend one regular season football game as AD.

After completing his degree at Northern Montana College, Danaher got his first teaching job at Mishawaka High School in 1994, where he also coached football.

He was hired at Niles in 1999, and became the athletic director in 2003.

When the school changed the AD position from full time to part time in 2011, Danaher transitioned to principal of the Niles alternative high school for the 2011-12 school year.

Danaher said he didn't enjoy being a principal, and had been searching for a new AD position when the North Putnam posting became available.

"I was looking for an opportunity to make a difference," he said. "We (he and his wife) are excited to be back to work and back to athletics."

Danaher said he is looking forward to becoming part of the North Putnam community and will wait to make any changes in policy or personnel.

"My goal is to be as active as I can be in supporting the student athletes and coaches," he said. "I expect the coaches to be professional in everything they do. I will protect them in every way I can, as long as they do things the right way."

Beginning next week, Danaher will be working with interim athletic director Mark Masariu, which Noel said will help make for an easy transition.

The new AD said he won't wait to get his philosophy active.

"I think it's important that the athletic director be just as visible at contests as when he's behind his desk doing something else," Danaher said. "It will be awfully hard to find me in my office after 3 o'clock."

Noel said Danaher was hired following an executive session of the North Putnam School Board last Tuesday evening.

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I love how the school board told the hiring group to do exhaustive background checks. It's too bad that policy wasn't used when they hired the previous superintendent.

-- Posted by Moretothestory on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 11:06 AM

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