STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
When Faith Academy of Marble Falls officials began their search for the school’s next athletic director, they quickly realized they had the perfect candidate on staff. In fact, he’s been with the athletics department for 17 years: cross-country and track-and-field coach Steve McCannon.
In announcing the new athletic director, the school also created two other positions, dividing up some of the roles traditionally held by the AD. Boys head basketball Zakk Revelle is the new boys’ athletic coordinator and administrative assistant Lori Thornley is the new girls athletic coordinator.
McCannon said elevating the three accomplishes several things. It gives Revelle and Thornley, who are on campus daily, the ability to make decisions for the benefit of the school, the department, and student-athletes through specific, established guidelines and rules. Also, it allows McCannon to do what he does best: speak to students and staff and encourage and empower them to be their very best for the academy.
McCannon said he, Revelle, and Thornley each trust each other to make the proper decisions for everyone involved.
“It’s a great group of leaders,” he said. “I think it’s important the kids and parents see a seamless operation. I think we’re a group that nobody cares who gets the credit. We’re going to love on the kids. We want to make sure the experience for the kids and parents is a good one.”
Though the academy made the announcement about the appointments August 1, McCannon said officials have talked about dividing the roles of the athletic director over the past several years and have committed to the new positions for one year. After that, there will be an evaluation to see how everyone feels, he said.
McCannon comes to the AD job with a proven record of success in numerous individual and team state championships in girls track and field. One of his first stars was Mary Nunnally, a former sprinter who is now an assistant coach for the program.
His best teams might have been the 2007 and 2008 girls track squads, which won back-to-state championships. The Lady Flames earned huge individual scores and left no doubt that they were among the more elite athletes in the school’s history.
McCannon is known throughout the area for his work with youths through the now-defunct Highland Lakes Track Club and in developing partnerships with local businesses and residents for meets hosted by Faith Academy.
He will continue his duties as cross-country and track-and-field coach.
The new athletic director understands there will be moments when he’ll have to make some tough decisions, but he said he will remember why he took the job.
“I’ll remember how much I love the kids,” he said. “Leaders lead others. I can help lead.”
McCannon noted he has been involved in different school events that don’t necessarily relate to sports but are equally important because they relate to campus life and the Faith family. He said that while most know him through his work as a coach, he is also focused on helping students be their best in the classroom, something he plans to emphasize to all athletes.
“I’m a big believer in academics,” he said.
McCannon believes making every person feel like part of the team is what good leaders do. He motivates his student-athletes to see the importance of being the best they can be in competitions, in the classroom, and in all aspects of campus life. He refers to it as accountability.
“You’re all part of something big,” he said. “Everything counts. Nothing happens by chance. Little things win championships.”