A New Athletic Director for a New Era

Paul Boschert passes the torch to Neil Nowack


Juan Wilson

Coach Neil Nowack rallies his team

The winds of change are blowing around school, specifically in the athletic department. After 16 years working, athletic director Paul Boschert is stepping down. He is ready to retire and make room for the next generation.

“I’ve been in education for 38 years, 8 in private and 30 in public, and around 30 years is that magic number,” Boschert said. “Eventually you just get to a point where you need to pass the torch to someone new. [In retirement I plan on doing] whatever I want. It’s open, I’m sure something will come along the way. But I’m not pursuing anything right now, just trying to enjoy these last six months I have here.”

After a long interview process involving candidates from inside the district and outsiders, a decision for Boschert’s successor was made Dec.11. On Dec. 18, varsity head football coach Neil Nowack announced to his team that he was named the new athletic director.

“I felt like [athletic director] was an opportunity for me to reach out and effect more student athletes, and have a positive impact on them,” Nowack said. “I’m excited. I think it’s a great opportunity. There’s a lot of responsibility and uncertainty, it being a new job, but once I get past that I think I can be a positive influence.”

Nowack has made plenty of memories in that time, and has always been a role model for his staff and his players. He is preparing for the transition ahead and although it is going to be different, he is trying to only focus on the positives of stepping down as coach.

“[Transitioning jobs is going to be] a little weird, for 15 years I’ve been in the classroom then going to the field or the weight room, so it will be weird moving away from that,” Nowack said. “And, [not coaching anymore] is going to be tough, it’s something I’ve done my whole life, I’ve been involved in sports ever since I was a kid, but I’ll still get to be helping, just in a different capacity.”

After all this, Boschert believes they have found the perfect replacement. Through working with Nowack for 16 years, he has seen what he can do.

“I think [Nowack] is going to be great,” Boschert said. “I’ve watched him in head coaching for a long time. He’s outstanding. He’s very ethically sound and organized. He’s great with the kids, and that’s the advantage he has over me when I first started here. He has already built a great foundation with these kids and knows everyone here.”

Doing this job for over a decade, Boschert has learned a lot of information to pass on. He has dealt with a plethora of unexpected problems and stress but he chooses not to focus on that.

“I have a lot of advice for [Nowack],” Boschert said. “Number one: Have fun. It’s one of the things I’ve always tried to do, this is a great job and you have to enjoy it. No day is ever the same, so you have to be flexible, too. You’re going to go in one day thinking you’re going to do one thing and then something is going to come up and you’re going to have to work in the spur of the moment. You also have to be organized, but I’ve seen that from him as a coach. Also, always be good with your communication skills. So have fun, be flexible, be organized and communicate.”  

Boschert is very humble about his time here, he is just happy to have been apart of it and thankful for the people he has met along the way. His legacy is special in his own way.

 “Oh, legacies are something other people can come up with, but I’ve loved the relationships I’ve made,” Boschert said. “There are so many educators that I’ve met that I’ve loved working with, my office staff has been great, and even officials that I’ve met who have been great. I will miss the people, and I’m hoping they had a great relationship with me, too”

 Once the 2018-2019 school year is over, Boschert will officially be retired and Nowack will take over. All this time has flown by for him, and the job was better than he could have ever expected.    

“I’d just like to add that this has been a real joy being here at West High School,” Boschert said. “Back in 2003 when I started, I didn’t know what to expect. But I’m proud of everything I’ve done in my time. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people surrounding me. I’m going to miss this, and I will definitely come back and visit when I can.”  

As for Nowack, when one door closes, another opens. He awaits this with open arms, but he will never forget his time as a coach and the impact he has had on his players, his students and his coworkers.

“I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity I’ve had, it’s been a blessing and I’ve loved every minute,” Nowack said. “I’m excited for this new opportunity to be a positive effect on more student athletes.”