At this time last year, Devin Allen was preparing his Vista Ridge cross country teams for the start of a new season. Now, he's running the show.
Allen, 47, recently accepted an offer to become the Wolves' athletic director, replacing Marla Lowes and Jeff Moulton, who shared administrative duties last year.
"I'm excited about it, and it's going to be a big challenge," Allen said. "Vista Ridge is on its way up. Our boys' track team just won the school's first state championship, and we hope to build on that success in all of our sports."
It marks the third athletic director change in the short history of the school, which opens its sixth season Aug. 1.
Allen, a coach and physical education teacher at Vista Ridge since the beginning, hopes to buck that trend.
"One of the reasons I took this job, from a head coaching standpoint, is that I just want to see stability," Allen said. "With all the athletic directors we've had in only five years, that's not conducing to being successful. I want to do this for a while, and it'll help the program to have one person there for a while. It's what we need. Hopefully, I can provide that."
Allen also coached the school's volleyball squad prior to leading the Wolves' cross country teams. He also mentored the distance runners on the track teams in addition to teaching physical education.
He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in education and briefly taught at the college level. Allen, however, left for the corporate sector, spending years managing fitness centers before returning to the teaching world when Vista Ridge opened in 2008.
"I went to college to be a teacher and a coach, and I knew I could fall back on teaching," Allen said. "A long time ago, I envisioned I'd be an AD at some point. This opportunity came up, and I thought now is as good of a time as any."
Allen's two sons, Orry, a senior, and Ross, a sophomore, both attend Vista Ridge. His wife, Leslie, teaches at Ridgeview Elementary.
"I know the time commitment will be huge, but head coaching prepares you for that," Allen said. "I'm ready for that, and it'll be nice having my two sons there."