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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 4 years ago

Ocoee taps Steve McHale as new athletic director

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by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

Ocoee High School Principal William Floyd didn’t take long to fill the vacancy he had at athletic director.

Floyd and the school announced on Wednesday morning that Steve McHale, formerly the Assistant Athletic Director at Dr. Phillips High School, has been tapped as the new man in charge of the athletic programs on campus — just eight days after outgoing athletic director Scott Drabczyk announced his departure from Ocoee for Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach.

“He [McHale] comes with a sterling reputation from the athletic community … I did not hear a single negative about him,” Floyd said of his newest hire. “Couple that with many years of experience and [his] being a local person who has the drive to improve the school and really wants to make things as good as they can be — he was the obvious choice.”

McHale, who has previously held positions at Edgewater, East River and, most recently, Dr. Phillips, began moving into his new office at Ocoee on Wednesday and expressed excitement over his new position and working with coaches and students on campus.

“They’re doing everything the right way and they’re doing it with hard work and integrity,” McHale said. “You can just see a lot of growth … building that tradition.”

Though Floyd said McHale stood apart as the right choice for his school’s athletic programs, he also noted that there was notable interest in the opening from some impressive candidates — another sign that things are going in the right direction on campus.

“I think it [the interest in the opening] says a lot,” Floyd said. “Although we haven’t always had the best win-loss record, some of the coaches we’ve hired here over the past few years are top-notch coaches.”

The upward trend for Ocoee’s programs, said Floyd, is reflective of what Drabczyk accomplished during his four years on campus and the Knights’ Principal expressed his gratitude for his efforts.

“Our sports teams are up-and-coming thanks to [Drabczyk’s] hard work, diligence and support of the program,” Floyd said. “He will be missed.”

Drabczyk announced his departure on July 15 via email, noting that he left Ocoee with a “heavy heart” and that Father Lopez’s proximity to his hometown of Palm Coast played a significant factor.

“I spent nine years in Orlando and I was really blessed to have been able to work at two awesome schools (Dr. Phillips and Ocoee),” Drabczyk said. “When this opportunity [at Father Lopez] came open, everything fell in line …

“It was a decision to get closer to home and family.”

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