Central AD will vacate position

Friday, February 29, 2008

Mark Ruark submitted his resignation, effective July 1.

Central athletic director Mark Ruark resigned the position effective July 1, 2008, after serving three years in the job.

Ruark has been at Central for the past 23 years. He served as an administrator for the past 14 years, spending the first 11 as an assistant principal before accepting his role as athletic director.

"I still have some professional goals," Ruark said. "I think I would like to be a building principal at some place, possibly a smaller school. And by resigning now, this gives me the motivation to move out of a comfort stage. I'm in a comfortable place and sometimes you're not as motivated to move on professionally when you're comfortable where you are at. And so this will help make me be a little more motivated, and let potential employers know that I'm serious about changing."

Before becoming an administrator at Central, Ruark was a history teacher at the school. He also coached girls basketball and boys track. He led the girls basketball team to a state final four appearance in 1989.

Ruark said another reason for his resignation is because the position is time consuming, and he wants to spend more time with his family.

"I have two sons, one 13 and one 8, who say I'm gone more than I'm at home," Ruark said. "And as much as I want to be remembered as a good athletic director, the most important thing I'll ever do is be a dad. And right now I want to be a dad more than I want to be an athletic director, and spend more time with my kids. That's probably the overriding factor, and I know there are administrative positions out there that don't have the same type of time demands, particularly the night activities."

Ruark said he does not have any employment secured for next year yet, but he has "several things in the fire." He said his real love in education was teaching history and coaching girls basketball, and he would not rule out doing that again. He said working until July 1 gives him time to pursue all his options.

Before coming to Central, Ruark worked at Providence High School in Providence, Ky. He coached boys basketball, tennis and cross country. Before that he worked at North County High School in Desloge, Mo., where he taught history and was an assistant varsity football coach and assistant track coach.

"There are also some private business things that I've looked at," Ruark said about his options for next year. "I haven't ruled those out either. But again, my overall professional goal is to be a building principal. I will pursue that. And I will pursue all those things and do some combination."

Ruark said he does not envision leaving Southeast Missouri, and he did not rule out staying at Central under the right circumstance.

"Really, based on what I used to coach, there is not a coaching position open that I would be interested in at Cape, to be honest with you," he said. "But things can change. But that's why I'm saying all that is very speculative. But that option would be available to me certainly to stay on at Cape Central as a teacher. If it was the right coaching position, I would consider roaming the sidelines again."

Ruark denied being interested in the football vacancy that was created by Lawrence Brookins' resignation in January.

"[Athletic director] is a very stressful position," he said. "Very much a demanding position. But there are a lot of positives about the position. I love being a Tiger. I've been a Tiger for 23 years, and deep down inside I'll probably always be a Tiger. But I just feel like for the benefit of my family and my children in particular, I feel it is best to step back and re-evaluate what I'm doing, and take my career in a different path."

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