By: Sara Wolf
In early May, just days after the birth of his son, Bellbrook teacher and coach Charlie O’Dell announced that he will be filling the high school’s athletic director position beginning in June. O’Dell will be replacing the school’s previous AD of twenty years, Tom Bean.
In order to stay in communication with the many BHS athletes he works with from his position as a track coach, O’Dell is very active on social media platforms, such as his Twitter account @Coach_ODell, from which he tweeted:
If you’ve participated on the high school track team, you’ve heard the last sentence of O’Dell’s tweet before, many times. I know I heard it on Saturday mornings at 7 a.m., when I honestly would have rather been anywhere instead of running laps on the track. Coach stood and reminded me what a great day it was each time I passed him by. Or at 6 a.m. liftings before school, or while participating in 5-hour-long track meets through nights of freezing snow, rain, and wind. Members of the track team could count on the fact that Coach O’Dell would be standing at the finish, pushing positivity and encouragement into their ears, despite the circumstances. O’Dell understands that an athlete’s greatest strength is found through the right mindset. This component of his coaching is something that will definitely pour into his actions as athletic director at BHS.
GET TO KNOW O’DELL:
What sport(s) did you play as a BHS athlete?
I played football in high school, middle school, and Wee Eagles. I wrestled, played baseball, and soccer.
In high school, did you ever imagine yourself being employed at BHS and staying so significantly involved?
I didn’t ever really think I would be employed at Bellbrook, but started to think seriously about teaching and coaching after my 7th grade year when I had Mr. Caldwell as both a social studies teacher and football coach. Ironically, the year that I graduated from college, Mr. Caldwell moved to the high school and that opened up a teaching position at the middle school that I was able to attain. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in Bellbrook and to have been able to work for a district as good as ours.
Which BHS athletic events are you looking forward to most?
I am looking forward to seeing the Golden Eagles embrace the opportunity to compete in every sport. I am also looking forward seeing our enthusiastic student section at every game match and meet! I would also like to see all of our student athletes participate in weight training 12 months a year. Several of our teams already do a great job in the weight room, but we can definitely do more!
What role do you think athletics play in a high school student’s growth and success?
Sports are a critical component to education. Classroom teachers do a great job but there are some things that simply can’t be learned in the classroom. The opportunity to be a part of a team is one of the greatest opportunities anyone can ever have. It teaches a life skill of knowing how to be part of something larger than yourself. I am looking forward to seeing the student athletes embrace the opportunity to be a good teammates and embrace the opportunity to compete!
What do you hope to bring/show to athletes at BHS through your position as AD?
I am ecstatic to start this job! I had a great experience as a student athlete at BHS. I knew my coaches and teachers cared about me and I felt that they set me up to be successful in both sports and life. My goal is to make sure every student athlete has an experience as good as the one I had. The way to do that is for me to serve the coaches who already do a great job of serving the student athletes.