The job of an athletic director isn’t necessarily glamorous.
The hours are long, the schedules are never done, travel arrangements are tedious and there are always coaches, students and parent issues to juggle. Well, at least the pay isn’t great.
Definitely not glamorous, but for the right person it’s incredibly rewarding.
The position requires someone who cares about the school and students well beyond a 40-hour work week or meager stipend. It requires someone who knows the lengthy Nevada Intercollegiate Athletic Association regulations and existing school athletic program inside and out.
The job requires someone like Whittell coach Steve Maltase, who is stepping up as the Warriors new athletic director this fall. He will also serve as dean to stretch the position into full time.
Maltase has coached at Whittell for the past 19 years, and while you probably won’t catch him singing the national anthem on game days, he does know the Warriors’ athletic program like the back of his hand.
Maltase coached boys varsity soccer for 17 years, boys varsity golf for 13 years and boys varsity basketball for six years. He also coached the eighth grade basketball team for three years.
He’s filled in as athletic director from time to time and collected nine years of Whittell AD experience along the way.
“I’ve always been the fill-in guy, but this is my first time taking over as dean and athletic director,” Maltase said. “I just expect to keep things going in a positive direction, like Kathy (Bluethman) had things going. I’m going to keep our spirits up, keep everybody involved, so we can go out there and be competitive.”
Principal Crespin Esquivel has no doubt that Maltase will fill the role seamlessly.
“He was just a natural fit,” Esquivel said. “He knows the school, the community and the biggest thing is he knows is the NIAA regulations.”
Maltase has Whittell covered when if comes to NIAA fines and consequences. He also demands a high level of accountability from all coaches and students, Crespin said.
This year, Maltase will face the difficult task of transitioning Whittell into a new division. There will be more travel expenses and a new group of schools the Warriors will face as they enter Division IV.
“Maybe we start scheduling volleyball and football games together. We just have to be a little more creative to cover the extra travel,” Esquivel said. “We’re going to be learning a lot from the other Division IV schools.”
And Maltase will be the guy behind the scenes making sure that transition goes smoothly.
“It’s definitely a very competitive division so it will be challenging,” Maltase said, “but this is where we belong.”