On a day where the weather can’t seem to make up its mind and the rain falls intermittently between sunny skies, Kings Park’s new athletic director keeps a watchful eye on the outdoors, wondering if the afternoon games will be played or cancelled.
It is just one of the things that make up Dan Butler’s day, the new athletic director who began this September as Ken Ferrazzi’s replacement. Ferrazzi was named as the high school’s assistant principal at the end of the last school year.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in West Islip with my wife and three little boys. I came here directly from the Wantagh School District where I was the athletic director for two years and before that I was in Bellmore/Merrick for nine years where I was a teacher and an athletic coordinator.
When this job became available, having grown up in Babylon and being familiar with Kings Park and the tradition that they had in their athletic program and the community, it was always a place I had on my radar as a great community. When the job became available it was something that I jumped at.
What are the challenges you see here?
I view my role as trying to give the student athletes the best chance to be successful, whether that be on the field, in the classroom or whatever they might be doing. I think being a student athlete at the high school level is not the be all end all of the high school experience but it is part of the process and helps people round out their high school resume. I also think the experience of being on a team and the lessons you learn and the relationships you build are things that will stay with these young people long after they leave the school.
Did you participate in athletics in high school?
In high school I was a three-sport athlete. Then I played lacrosse for four years at Notre Dame. It is a way that I can relate to what the student athlete is going through at the high school level because I have been there and I have gone through the recruiting process which is somewhat of an intimidating process for a fifteen or sixteen-year-old kid as they start to be recruited earlier in their careers.
Athletics was such a big part of my life and I learned so many lessons that are still valuable in everyday life.
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
To make sure student athletes continue to be representatives of the community and anything we can do to enhance that and get involved in things throughout the community and build upon what has already been established. The tradition is there now we just have to build on that. The future looks really bright.
How would you describe Kings Park pride?
It is something that is infectious. It permeates throughout the community and not just the athletic department. People really care and it’s a special thing. I am just proud and excited to be a part of it.