“There’s no doubt that, on average, student athletes do better in their classes, have fewer discipline problems, and are more likely to graduate. That’s true statistically across the US and, from my observation, also true at Cardinal.”
~ Andy Cardinal, Athletic Director at Cardinal on the correlation between involvement in athletics and student academic performance.
Andy Cardinal may be the new Athletic Director for Cardinal High School, but he is not new to the school. Since 1994, he has been a part of the coaching staff. His own sports background gives him credibility when it comes to understanding student athletic endeavors and what it can do to help shape them for future pursuits in life. He played football and basketball in middle school and high school, and football in college. In 1994, while still in college, he started coaching basketball and track at Cardinal and has been here ever since coaching basketball, both boys and girls, from 1994-2010; track from 1994-2008; and football from 1996-2013. He also coached girls basketball at Garrettsville Garfield from 2010-2013. Not only has he been a coach, he has also been teaching a variety of subjects the past 18 years at Cardinal as well, giving him a full understanding and in depth perspective of the whole realm of student life in high school.
Andy’s own involvement in sports has contributed much to his personal success in life. “[I learned] how to keep working toward something even when things don’t go your way,” says Andy. “How to follow through with your commitments. How to accept a role even if it’s not the one you wanted or expected.”
Since 2008, there have been a total of five athletic directors. It is Andy’s hope to be able to provide stability to the position and remain AD for many years in order to accomplish a list goals. When the time comes for him to move on, he would like to see this list completed:
1. That Cardinal provides a first class athletic experience for athletes, parents, fans and opponents.
2. That we have strengthened ties to the alumni and to the youth.
3. That we have improved our athletic facilities.
4. That an all-weather track be built.
For those who are wondering about the effects the break up of the Chagrin Valley Conference, Andy says, “We’ll be in the CVC this year and next year; I don’t know where we’ll be for 2015-2016 but hope to know by the beginning of next year.”
Not everyone can be an outstanding athlete, but everyone CAN be a participant and enjoy the benefits of personal achievement. For the student who wants to be involved in sports but may be a bit intimidated, Andy has some great advice. “If you play high school sports to get a DI college scholarship, you’re probably playing for the wrong reasons. Interscholastic sports is about developing life skills such as commitment, discipline, dedication, teamwork, and hard work. It’s about pursuing individual and team goals. Like John Wooden, we define success as “being the best of which you are capable of becoming.” Ultimately, interscholastic sports is about becoming a successful person. We want our student athletes to look back when they’re 10 years out of school and say playing sports at Cardinal was a positive experience in their lives.”
Andy knows the important role of a parent’s involvement in the student’s success in school and in sports. Having coached for so many years, he says,“Support your child no matter what. Don’t relive your athletic career vicariously through your child’s. Let the coaches coach and the players play – just be there to support them.”
We think the school board made a wise choice in Andy. He knows the school district and the community. He’s coached here for 20 years and knows the program. He’s taught here for18 years. And a huge plus for the community: “I have no intention of ever leaving here, so I have made a long-term commitment to this program.”
We at Geauga News welcome Andy Cardinal and wish him a long and successful career in his new role as Athletic Director of Cardinal!
Cardinal School News is sponsored by