Regarding the resignation

Athletic Director Joel Beard resigns from his position due to personal reasons, Barry Burmeister returns to fill the role until further notice


Carly Byer

Joel Beard, who was hired as MCHS’s athletic director last year to replace outgoing Barry Burmeister, left the post earlier this month. Burmeister has stepped back into the role to finish out the school.

Mackenzie Sroka, Sports Editor

Over the past month, MCHS has experienced a shift in the athletic department with the departure of Athletic Director Joel Beard. 

Last year, MCHS’s Athletic Director, Barry Burmeister, retired, and Beard came into the position starting the 2022-2023 school year. However, in March, Beard resigned from the position. Beard officially left the position when the staff and students returned from spring break. Former Athletic Director, Burmeister, came out of retirement and has now filled the position. 

In order to transition Burmeister back into the building, staff and Burmeister have been working to create a no interruption in the spring season transition. They have been successful in this through Burmeister being updated regularly by the Athletic Department and other staff and many other means. 

“Coach Burmeister has been working on getting informed on the current status of the game schedules, bus schedules, etc.,” stated Matthew Adam, the spring assistant athletic director. “We have been getting him caught up on scheduling challenges at McCracken Field. Some things are the same from last year and some things have changed, so just getting coach Burmeister as informed as possible so the transition is smooth.”

Throughout the beginning of the spring season Adam has worked with Beard and Burmiester to create the spring athletic schedule for each of the teams. 

“Most of our interactions so far have been about getting a brand new practice schedule for the turf and managing the transition between Coach Beard and Coach Burmeister’s return,” described Adam. “Coach Beard has been flexible with things I needed to attend and we tried to work together on making schedules and sharing ideas. We have learned to communicate face-to-face, via text, or via email in order to share information or ideas about our projects.”

During Beard’s time at MCHS, most of the staff have worked with him. Those that have worked the closest with him are a part of the athletic department whether they are coaches or assistant athletic directors. 

According to Brian Rockweiler, the winter assistant athletic director and varsity baseball coach, “Coach Beard has been a really nice guy to work for. He listens and cares about McHenry athletics and is a really easy guy to get along with.”

Along with staff and students having positive experiences with Beard, he as well has enjoyed his time with the MCHS community. 

“As an athletic director,” said Beard, “you have a great group of students and coaches to work with. There is great support from administration, all those things, so it’s a great spot to be an athletic director.”

Beard’s resignation does not have to do with the community or working at MCHS, rather it is due to personal matters. 

“I am resigning basically to help myself out and my family,” explained Beard. “I have been doing this for the last seven years between different schools and I want to be able to see my family more. I want to get healthier mentally and physically, all those things I need to put some more time and energy into that and into myself and into my family.”

Along with resigning due to wanting more time for himself and his family life, he feels like he needs to better his career life as well. 

“Just looking back on that and reflecting and doing what I normally do,” explained Beard, “I feel my job and whoever is in this position needs to be able to do a better job supporting coaches and supporting kids. It’s a total commitment, and I’m not there right now. I need to focus on some other things in my life as well.”

Beard will be taking away many things from his time here at MCHS, and one main take away was our highschool and the community within and around it. 

“I appreciate is how close the community is and how passionate they are about the high school,” stated Beard. “Whether it is good or bad, it does not matter. They are passionate about the school. It was at times a refreshing look at being an athletic director because where I was coming from it was a different environment. At MCHS it was an overall positive experience.”

Beard’s time at MCHS will be appreciated as we continue to shift back into Burmeister being the athletic director, as the school searches for another athletic director to fill the role next school year.