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Kerg built a culture of success as St. Croix Central athletic director

St. Croix Central athletic director Jeremy Kerg leans on a stack of boxes containing cameras for the school’s Panther Productions class.

St. Croix Central’s athletic program was the second most successful in the Middle Border Conference during the 2015-16 school year.

But that success took a toll on Central athletic director Jeremy Kerg. Kerg’s resignation was accepted at Central’s March Board of Education meeting.

Kerg is in his fourth year as Central’s athletic director. He oversaw the school’s transition from the Dunn-St. Croix Conference to the MBC two years ago. This year, Central has already had two teams qualify for state, the football and girls cross-country teams, with the football team winning the WIAA Division 4 state championship.

Kerg said he’s been thinking about making the move for about a year. He said the intensity and time commitment that is part of the job was leaving little time for his wife and four children and it was beginning to affect his health.

“It’s a job I enjoy, but it comes at a price. It got to the point the price wasn’t worth it any more,” he said.

Athletic director is just part of Kerg’s role at Central. He is also assistant principal and transportation director.

“Athletic director itself could be a full-time job. All three together, it was pretty tough,” Kerg said.

Kerg came to Central after serving as a guidance counselor and assistant football coach at Somerset. He said he felt those roles better suited his personality and that is the type of job he would be seeking for the future.

Kerg said he may consider going into school administration some time in the future, but won’t take on an athletic director role again.

“My personality really fits as a school counselor,” he said, saying he enjoys helping students to chart out their future on an individual basis.

Kerg understood that when he was hired it was with the idea that Central would be changing conferences in the near future. He brought in the Bigger Faster Stronger program. His infectious attitude helped to get the students to buy into the program, laughing about the way the hardcore workers showed up for the 6 a.m. “butt kicking” workouts.

“I’m most proud of our culture, of our growth both academically and athletically,” Kerg said. “The kids come to school and they’re pretty engaged. I’m proud of how the kids have embraced strength and conditioning.”

Kerg is a natural promoter and he said fundraising was part of the job he enjoyed most. Through the fundraising efforts, the school has been able to add video scoreboards in the gym and on the football field. Kerg was also instrumental in beginning “Panther Productions,” a student-based effort to live stream Central games on the internet.

With the recent referendum that was passed at Central, the athletic facilities were also upgraded. Kerg was able to say that facilities for every Central sport were upgraded in his four years there.

“I feel we’ve built a brand,” Kerg said of the progress shown in Central’s athletics. “We have an identity. And we’ve built a culture around that identity.”

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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