Rodriguez moves to compliance post

Rodriguez moves to compliance post

Athletic Director Gunter Rodriguez has accepted the position, and will take over, as Director of Safety and Security and Coordinator of the Guardian Program at Olney Independent School District, and the athletic director and head football coach jobs will again be combined in the coming school year, OISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Roach said.

Mr. Rodriguez took over as athletic director after the departure of Jody Guy, who held both positions, while defensive coordinator Jason Powers took on the head football coach role to provide the football program with continuity, Dr. Roach said. The combined AD-head coach job will be posted and open to internal and external applicants. Mr. Rodriguez will be serving on the OISD search committee and play an integral part in recommending the next Athletic Director for the district, Dr. Roach said.

Mr. Rodriguez will oversee compliance with new state laws involving safety and security, and will oversee the district’s guardian program, which addresses the requirement for an armed presence on all public school campuses. Coordinating and finalizing the guardian program is one of the final pieces to ensure complete compliance with state mandated security requirements.

The OISD budgets, at a minimum, $250,000 each year just to deal with a growing litany of state and federal mandates tied to funding, he said. The bureaucratic burden has grown so much in the past five years that the district made the decision to pull safety and security from the responsibilities of the director of accountability and compliance. Keeping kids safe and keeping up with other aspects of federal and state compliance now requires two positions, he said.

“We had a pressing need … and he was a perfect fit for it,” Dr. Roach said. “He was a perfect fit for this because of his experience as a classroom teacher, as a coach, as an athletic director, and as a campus administrator. He knows the workings of the school district … better than anyone we’ve got because of some of the things he’s done.”

Mr. Rodriguez will handle compliance and reporting requirements, interface with the Texas School Safety Center and Olney Police Department, and work with School Resource Officer Devin Wright to provide day to day security oversight. Additionally, he will handle all required safety drills and direct all safety-related operations, he said.

“We reached the point of being overwhelmed with the accountability part of it, the statutory requirements and the bureaucracy,” Dr. Roach said.