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Q&A WITH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR CHAD KIRKHART-sponsored by Rib Crib

VYPE: Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you graduate? Where have you coached. How long have you been at Hilldale and how long have you been athletic director?

KIRKHART: I graduated from Fort Gibson and went to college at NSU. I’ve coached at Jay, Warner, Haskell and finally here at Hilldale. I’ve been here for nine years and have been athletic director for the past six.

VYPE: Did you have a special coach or coaches as you came through the ranks that had an impact on your life.

KIRKHART: Gary Hendrix was my basketball coach from 6th-12th grade and Jerry Kerr was my football coach from the age of 7-10. Both had huge impacts on my life and are the reasons I became a coach. They both had expectations for their players and expected you to be coachable, disciplined, to work hard, and they really cared about their players.

VYPE: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing today’s kids in athletics?

KIRKHART: I think the biggest challenge today is specializing in one sport. We want our student-athletes to play multiple sports because I think it’s good for kids to compete throughout the year. At a school our size we need kids to play several sports for us to be competitive.

VYPE: Give us your take on the current condition of athletics at Hilldale.

KIRKHART: I feel like we’re in a good place in most sports and I’m not referring to just winning. We expect and want to win but there are things that are more important than winning. Our coaches care about kids and want them to be successful young people.

VYPE: Tell us about some of your favorite memories of your time so far at Hilldale.

KIRKHART: There are lots of great memories at Hilldale with the teams I was fortunate enough to coach and I cherish the relationships with former players and the great times we had. Also getting to watch our three girls play at Hilldale provided many great memories that we will never forget.

VVYPE: You mentioned your girls. Tell us about your family and what you like to do in your spare time.

KIRKHART: Jamie, my wife and I have been married 28 years and she is a teacher here at Hilldale. And my three girls-Katie is coaching basketball at the University of Central Missouri, Kenzie is a cosmetologist and Karlie is a student at OU. Spending time with them is what I enjoy doing the most.

VYPE: Other than the Hornets, what is another team that you like to follow and root for.

KIRKHART: That’s easy-OU

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