It seems like it was only yesterday than Dan Digwood was roaming the hallways of Riverside, a senior looking forward to graduating in 1992.
He will still be walking those hallways, as he has for much of his time beyond college, only this time he will have a new title attached to his name.
After a 13-year stint as the school’s head baseball coach, Digwood has left the position to take over as Riverside’s athletic director.
“I stepped down. I’m not going to try to do both,” Digwood said. “When I was the coach, the position was always posted in September, and hired in October by the school board.”
By the time Digwood’s replacement at the helm of the Vikings baseball program is named, the former coach will be in his first sports season as the athletic director, looking at the weather, spending much time on the phone with fellow athletic directors and making sure Riverside teams in all the fall sports are running smoothly.
“It’s a busy time of year,” Digwood said. “I’m just trying to be squared up by August 12 [the first day fall sports can legally hold practice].”
Digwood steps into his new role well familiar with the inner workings of the position, attentive to what needs to be done for an athletic program to work for everybody.
“I know what I’m getting into,” Digwood said. “I worked under [Tom] Nageli and [Frank] Chisdock [his two immediate predecessors at the position at Riverside]. Frank did a great job getting the fall schedules up. I have to worry about [getting] transportation and officials.”
What he has seen behind the scenes has given him a good idea of what lies ahead of him.
“I looking forward to it,” Digwood said. “It will be a different perspective, overseeing all the programs, and I know there is a lot of paperwork, a lot of work.”
His experience as a baseball coach will come in handy when the weather starts to play a role in his job. The spring sports season can be maddening with the cold weather at the start and often rainy during the season, making rescheduling games a challenge with multiple programs looking for valuable field time.
“Having been a coach in the spring season, I know it’s a crazy time,” Digwood said. “But I think I have a good understanding. With all the paperwork, I have to be organized. If there’s a bus that has to be at Wallenpaupack at 10 in the morning on a Saturday [and it doesn’t show to pick up the team], I know I’ll get a phone call at 7:30, 8 o’clock in the morning.”
He will do his best to cultivate relationships with the many coaches and athletes at Riverside, for those bonds he had with his players were among the lasting memories of his time in the baseball program.
“[I’ll miss] Being with the kids on a daily basis, talking to them on a personal level,” Digwood said. “I’m going to try to stay involved with all the programs, seeing that coach-player relationship and building on it every year.”
That’s the way it has been for Digwood, a U.S. history teacher at Riverside, in his time in charge of the Vikings baseball program.
“Looking back at some of my kids, they’re married, with 10-year-old kids,” Digwood said with a laugh, realizing how long he has been involved with his former athletes.
Now he has the opportunity to have an impact on many more athletes at Riverside, going about his new duties with the same passion he had as a coach. It will be a chance to forge many more new relationships at his school.