Jim Dion has been coaching for 40-plus years, he calls himself “semi-retired” and yet he is ready for new more challenges than ever.
Dion was recently hired as Camden-Frontier’s new athletic director, replacing the retired Brad Bohner, and he is also set to take over as JV football coach if the school board approves that action at their next meeting.
The 60-year-old Dion has been the head track and field coach at C-F for three years and he said he has been ready to take over the AD post for quite some time now.
“Brad actually talked to me about the job several years ago when he said he would be retiring, but some things changed in his retirement plans and obviously the job didn’t open,” Dion said. “But this year we talked about it more and to be honest, this job just fits right into my lifestyle.”
Dion was actually Litchfield’s athletic director for a year-and-a-half prior to coming to C-F and his 27 years of teaching and 41 years of coaching experience make him feel he’s aptly prepared for his new gig.
“I have the argument with a lot of people about how much things have changed in high school athletics over the years. In my mind they really haven’t,” he said. “Sure some of the extracurriculars have changed, kids don’t do the same things we did for fun in the 60s and 70s, but what every kid really wants is to be successful and to feel wanted and needed.”
Dion also said he believes the district is home to plenty of talented athletes who simply “need to be put in the best positions possible to succeed.”
“We really have good talent, we just have to know how to use it,” he said. “My philosophy is you just hire good coaches and get out of the way. It’s a real easy concept if you ask me.”
The Redskin baseball and softball teams are fresh off district titles, while the girls basketball team had the same success in the winter. The C-F football program has been down the last few years in terms of victories, but has a strong tradition behind it, and the volleyball program is one of the SCAA’s best on a yearly basis.
Superintendent Wendy Moore said Dion seemed like the perfect fit to continue building all of the programs.
“Jim has been coaching for us for a couple of years and has stepped up as an administrator and was willing to do it on a part-time basis so it works well,” she said.”We were looking for someone who understands state requirements, someone who works well with kids at this level and someone who understands the balance between academics and athletics.”
Dion said he plans on continuing his duties as the track and field coach.