Ethridge embraces new role

REMUS — There have been a number of people who have been at the top leading Chippewa Hills athletics the past few years.

Chi Ethridge would like to stop the trend.

NEW ROLE: Chi Ethridge has taken over the Chippewa Hills athletic programs including girls basketball. (Pioneer file photo)

Ethridge was tabbed as Chippewa Hills athletic director in June, taking over for Chris White, who was on the job for two years, as well as principal at the intermediate school.

White left for the principal position at Perry Middle School to be closer to family.

There have been a number of people who have filled the athletic director position at Chippewa Hills over the past 15 years. Ethridge would like to see that change.

“The coaches have felt they have been used and abused and I hope to build their trust and that pride and enthusiasm back to Warrior athletics as a whole,” Ethridge said.

One of the first things Ethridge did after taking over the athletic director position was to meet with all of the head coaches, to get an understanding of their needs and trying to help them reach their goals.

Ethridge isn’t doing the job alone, either.

Chippewa Hills hired Mark DeSalvo, who used to be the assistant athletic director at Central Michigan.

“He will assist me with the evaluation and managing of programs,” Ethridge said. “Mark and I talk daily, making sure we are on the same page. We’re a team effort.”

Ethridge has formed a Fall Kickoff, a chance for players, parents and coaches to come together and begin working toward a common goal. That was something that has been lost through the number of athletic directors, Ethridge said.

“You want to say things and not be negative, but I hope to bring back pride and enthusiasm to Warrior athletics,” she said. “The Fall Kickoff is part of that. I want to motivate the kids to have one common goal. We’ll talk about sportsmanship and how to represent Chippewa Hills athletics as a whole.”

Besides being athletic director, Ethridge also will double up as the middle school principal and special education director. That is where DeSalvo will come in, to take some of the pressure off of her and so she isn’t spending countless hours between all of the jobs she holds.

“The biggest challenge is balancing work, family and balancing the different hats and making sure everyone gets sufficient amount of time so their needs are met,” Ethridge said. “That’s the biggest thing, that needs are met.”

But for all of the work that will go into each job, Ethridge is looking forward to the challenge.

“The fact that I’ll be able to follow the kids from fifth through 12th grade and be part of their lives, that’s a fun time, it’s exciting,” she said.

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