Cher to become Eastside athletic director

COVINGTON -After seven years as Eastside's boys soccer head coach, Jeff Cher is ready to take over the reins of the athletic department as the Eagles' athletic director.

"I'm stepping into a good situation," he said. "Things here are running well so I'm not about to come in and change things around."

Cher is happy with the current coaching staff and why wouldn't he be? Brandon Blakeman led Eastside's wrestling team to a state championship in Class AAA, the football team made it to the Elite Eight under the direction of Rick Hurst, and Heather Wood took the softball team to the Final Four and a No. 3 ranking. But Cher also likes that the coaches have made true student-athletes.

"Even though it's good to win, the way these coaches have made sure their players kept their grades up is even more important. We had a lot of these students get scholarships for college. What they're doing is laying the groundwork for those that come after them. Continuing to give Eastside a good name is good," Cher said.

Besides maintaining Eastside's reputation on the collegiate level, Cher wants to make sure that Eastside's positive image is maintained in the eyes of the community.

"We want people to be proud of Eastside. It really helps to bring the community together," Cher added. "We want everyone associated with us to have that Eagle pride."

While Cher does not plan on making any changes in the programs or the coaching staff and the Eagles had a lot of success on the field of competition, his job is not without stress.

Cher has to make sure that all of the programs have enough money to operate even in these times of economic uncertainty.

One way he plans on doing this with fundraisers and continuing what former athletic director, and current Eastside principal, Dennis Roddenberry did in building the booster club.

"Besides scheduling and making arrangements to make sure everything goes smoothly, we have to make sure that we have enough money. Our kids will have enough money for the necessities. The most important thing is to make sure that all our athletes have the equipment to be safe. They will always have that. What we want to do is try to get all our athletes the extras they need to make them better," Cher said.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.