By Caleb Elliott
Family, friends and classmates are what you would probably consider a fan of high school athletics. More likely than not they go to a sporting event to cheer on a specific player rather than the team as a whole. But, for high school athletic directors, they are the team’s biggest fans.
In the summer of 2021, Tilmon Clark succeeded Grant Zgunda as the athletic director at Delta High School. Clark believes that the school’s successful athletic history can be revitalized into the present.
“I think just the rich history and tradition Delta has in athletics is what naturally drew me in,” Clark said. “The community also is very into their athletics and they want to see the (teams) succeed.”
One of the first priorities Clark implemented was the use of social media to promote not only the teams, but also the student-athletes.
“Being at Ball State (as an assistant on the football staff) I was involved with recruiting. Social media was one of the biggest things developing during my stint in college,” he said. “I think social media is such a huge part of our daily lives. Our teams deserve the recognition.”
Clark utilizes Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages to better advertise teams’ performances and individual achievements. Clark started the Instagram (1,134 followers) and Facebook (1,010 followers) pages when he first took over the job. He also revitalized the Twitter (3,714 followers) page which has gained 1,214 followers since that time as well.
“Depending on what is going on during the day I’ll make a gameday post and a results post for whatever sport is playing that day,” Clark said.
Senior three-sport athlete Caden Clark has seen this effort when he sees posts about the swim or track team’s success. “It’s awesome to get acknowledged for doing well in a meet or our games,” he said. “It’s really encouraging when people see how our teams are doing.”
Clark also brought over a student athletic director program he had while he was an athletic director at Monroe Central High School. Last year, 2022 graduate Brenden Mead took charge of that program where he worked at multiple sporting events. This year, sophomore Kenneth Drollinger has filled that spot.
“I wanted to get into more sports because I’m not that athletic,” Drollinger said.
Drollinger helps take money at volleyball and soccer games or sets up the concession stands at football, volleyball and soccer events.
With Clark spending much of his time working behind the scenes to make sure the athletic events are up and running smoothly, not many people are able to show their appreciation for the work he has done.
Recently Clark was named the IIAAA (Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association) District 4 Athletic Administrator of the Year. He was picked by the District 4 athletic directors for the work he did in his first year at Delta.
“I’m very thankful that they feel that way about me, and the work that (athletic administrative assistant) Rhonda (Donham) and I and the coaches and players have put in,” Clark said. “It’s a testament to our culture.”