Introduction: We are excited to continue our popular Educator Spotlight series, and also to expand it to feature both classroom and office educators who are the heart of Gibbons. In doing so, we offer readers a glimpse of how Gibbons Educators care for and engage with students, forming them as men and women of faith, service, and leadership in church and community. So far this year we have spotlighted counselor Susan Ellis, Latin educator Whitney Crabbe, Director of Classroom and Educator Tech Support Rodolfo Argueta, English Educator Amy Rokita, Math educator Chris Poisella, and Dance Educator Brooks Owens. Today we spotlight Athletics Director Todd Schuler.
Sitting in his office, filled with photos and awards, one recent Friday afternoon Todd Schuler pondered this question: what’s a typical day like for Cardinal Gibbons’ Athletics Director? “Every day is a little different; there’s always a new challenge; always something that can be improved,” he replied in his characteristic no-nonsense way.
With 49 teams in 27 sports, 900+ student-athletes, and nearly 100 coaches, Gibbons Athletics is a far-reaching program that has been in Schuler’s capable hands for the last 7.5 years. He is responsible for scheduling and compliance, staffing, strategic planning, student-athlete leadership programs, and everything in between, including being part of the team overseeing the resurfacing of our fields.
The job requires long days and many hats, with much of the work done behind the scenes and out of the limelight. That's okay with Schuler, a self-described introvert.
For the former classroom educator, soccer coach, and college athlete interacting with students is the best part of the job. So, he finds as many opportunities as possible to do just that.
Asked to describe the program in five years, Schuler said: “We want to be the model for mission-based athletics in a Catholic school environment.”
As a constant presence at the athletic leadership conferences, Schuler learns what’s on students’ minds and ways to improve the program. Such conversations contributed to the creation of the athletics culture code, aimed at establishing a mission-driven culture, developing leadership skills in students and coaches, and ensuring athletics is a healthy and meaningful experience. Schuler is passionate about all three. He believes sports, especially in a Catholic school, should prepare students for the future. He stresses themes like resilience, compassion, faith, and servant leadership.
Schuler also believes winning is important but said: “there are different ways to win that aren’t always based on a team’s record.” As examples, he points to our wrestling program’s growth to 60 athletes from eight as well as our football team’s history-making journey to the state championship game and its display of grace and sportsmanship in the face of defeat. He is more than proud of another first - capturing a 4A Wells Fargo Cup.
Asked to describe the program in five years, Schuler said: “We want to be the model for mission-based athletics in a Catholic school environment.” All things #GibbonsPossible - for sure!