RBHS Athletic Director and Assistant Principal David Egan will leave the school to become the new Columbia Public Schools (CPS) Athletic Director, replacing current CPS Athletics Director Bruce Whitesides, starting July 1. Whitesides, whose career as the CPS Athletic Director spans 22 years, is set to retire following the completion of the 2019-2020 school year.
“[Whitesides] has been [the CPS athletics director] for quite a while now, so he’s earned a retirement,” Egan said.
Egan went through rounds of interviews in December before being offered the CPS Athletics Director post prior to the winter break. He said he was humbled when the reviewing committee offered him the position. Around the middle of December, Egan and RBHS staff members began conducting interviews for his current title. Finally, after rounds of interviews until late January, RBHS announced current civics studies teacher Michael McGinty would ascend the post Feb. 3. Egan said he looks forward to the challenge but finds the promotion bittersweet.
“This is my 16th year here, [and] my entire career to this point has been at Rock Bridge. The decision for me to pursue that position was not an easy one,” Egan said. “And while I am grateful to have been offered the position, and I ultimately decided to accept it, I love the culture of the school. Like I’ve said, I’ve spent my entire 16-year career to this point in this building, and that’s not by accident. I love this building and I love the school.”
Egan spent his first nine years teaching in the Language Arts and Social Studies department. During that time he also acted as an assistant basketball coach under coach Jim Scanlon, was an Executive Council member, a social studies department chair and a Professional Learning Team leader before becoming the RBHS athletic director and an assistant principal in 2013.
“The decision for me to pursue that position was not an easy one… I love the culture of the school. Like I’ve said, I’ve spent my entire 16-year career to this point in this building, and that’s not by accident.”
As the RBHS athletic director, Egan oversees all the school’s athletic programs. He is actively involved in the hiring of new staff and coaches, the ordering of team equipment promoting and organizing competitions. Egan also supervises the budget for RBHS sports booster, having meetings with board members regularly. He must also keep track of school policy changes and stay updated with the rules from the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
As an assistant principal, Egan has helped teachers with strategies for implementing the curriculum, specifically within the social studies department. Egan must also address disciplinary concerns with students and communicate with their parents and teachers when needed.
“There are a number of candidates who are incredibly qualified, and so I was honored to be selected. I think the real key [for success] is the soft skills of dealing with people [and] understanding that the job will require conflict resolution. It requires service to a number of stakeholders and those include parents, students and coaches. I’ve actually served those roles [before], so I’m excited for this new opportunity because it really [does] speak to my talents and experience.”
Egan and McGinty’s careers both share similar experiences, which may have been a factor for the hire of McGinty. Starting at Jefferson Junior High School, which has since been renamed to Jefferson Middle School, McGinty taught government classes and coached the basketball and track programs. McGinty arrived at RBHS in 2012, serving as an assistant coach for the baseball team and civics studies teacher over the past seven years. Additionally, this school is more than a workplace for McGinty: it’s a place where he entrusts the high school education of his two children.
“There are a number of candidates who are incredibly qualified, and so I was honored to be selected. I think the real key [for success] is the soft skills of dealing with people [and] understanding that the job will require conflict resolution,” McGinty said. “It requires service to a number of stakeholders and those include parents, students and coaches. I’ve actually served those roles [before], so I’m excited for this new opportunity because it really [does] speak to my talents and experience.”
McGinty’s journey to RBHS and his new role reminds Egan of his own. Egan said he sees a lot of similarities between him and McGinty, whether it’s their roles as coaches on sports teams or activeness in the social studies department.
Basketball, especially, is one area the two share a strong passion for, as they both filled a coaching position for the RBHS boys’ basketball program. Senior Evan Bentinganan said he has followed the guidance of each separately. During his freshman year, Bentinganan played under the tutelage of McGinty on the freshmen boys’ basketball team, and the group finished its season undefeated. Although Bentinganan came to RBHS when Egan was already the athletic director, he heard “great things” about what Egan did for the program. Bentinganan said he consistently sees Egan checking in with players and coaches from all sports throughout the school year.
“I appreciate the fact that they [both] care about the kids and are willing to talk to us beyond basketball and [sports],” Bentinganan said. “My coolest memories with Mr. McGinty [were when] he’d give us a great workout and good advice about life every morning.”
Bentinganan said moments like those workouts displayed the type of considerate person McGinty is. Egan echoed similar praise for McGinty and said he believes McGinty will transition “really well.” Additionally, Egan said McGinty’s work ethic in the social studies department is a trait that will help make McGinty a successful assistant principal.
“There will be a learning curve no doubt. That was certainly true of me when I stepped into this role. It’s a big job,” Egan said. “But he has demonstrated over the years that he’s a lifelong learner, so I have no doubt that he’s going to pick up on it.”
While Bentinganan said McGinty will perform his role well, he also said that McGinty has “some shoes to fill” with Egan’s departure. Egan’s relationship with the boys’ basketball team is something Bentinganan said is very special.
“Egan has been unbelievable in directing our sports and is there every game supporting [teams], even at away games,” Bentinganan said. “He’s done a tremendous job staying on top of everything with the Rock Bridge basketball program in particular.”
With a new opportunity on the horizon for McGinty, he said he is exuberant for what’s in store for the future. McGinty said he is fortunate for the friendship and support Egan gave him over the years, hoping he will perform his position to his highest ability.
“Mr. Egan is [a] consummate professional, a model of consistency [and] a great communicator. A lot of the qualities I see in him are ones that I will want to emulate,” McGinty said. “He’ll be sorely missed, and he leaves a huge hole that I am humble and have a lot to learn to fill in the void that he’s leaving. We’re currently meeting every week to try and get me up to speed by July 1, so we don’t miss a beat. Although I [will be] the leader of the athletic program, this program is made up of incredible leaders and coaches. My job really is to serve them and make sure they have what they need.”
How do you think Egan and McGinty will do in their next respective roles? Let us know in the comments below.
“There will be a learning curve no doubt. That was certainly true of me when I stepped into this role. It’s a big job, but [McGinty] has demonstrated over the years that he’s a lifelong learner, so I have no doubt that he’s going to pick up on it.”