The Akron Public Schools has hired Joe Vassalotti as its new Athletic Director.
The APS Board of Education approved Vassalotti to be the coordinator in Student Support Services, Security and Athletics. He is scheduled to start on June 15.
Vassalotti, 47, comes to APS after 20 seasons as a head football coach and four years prior to that as an assistant. He resigned in January as Tallmadge’s football coach following 13 seasons, and said then he wanted to pursue an administrative job.
“This is a great honor and I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” Vassalotti said Tuesday. “I am looking forward to this administrative position and working with tremendous student-athletes and coaches within the Akron Public Schools.
“I definitely plan on being active and visiting each of the schools and getting to know all the coaches and people in the buildings. I am not one to sit in an office. I plan to be out and talking to people, and promoting our coaches and student-athletes. This is a great challenge and one I am looking forward to.”
Vassalotti is in his 23rd year as an English teacher, and said it is tough to leave Tallmadge. He guided the Blue Devils this past year to the Division III playoffs and a 6-5 record.
Vassalotti compiled a 101-49 record as Tallmadge’s coach, and posted a 134-87 mark overall with stints at Norton, Brush and Kent Roosevelt prior to Tallmadge.
Tallmadge reached the playoffs nine times during Vassalotti’s tenure and won seven Suburban League championships. The Blue Devils went 11-9 in the playoffs, and reached the Division II state semifinals in 2004 (12-2 record) and 2005 (13-1 record).
“Joe is a high character guy,” said Dan Rambler, the APS Director of Student Support Services. “Form everything we learned about him in the interview and from talking to others, he is a man of strong character. He will be a very direct kind of leader and he is a very honest person.”
Vassalotti graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School in 1986 after playing quarterback in football, guard in basketball and third base in baseball. He earned a bachelors degree from Miami (Ohio) University, and holds two Masters degrees and an Educational Specialist degree from Kent State University.
Rambler said Ron Linger, Beth Johnson and Josh Allen will continue to work in the athletic department with Vassalotti.
Linger has served as the interim APS Athletic Director the past few months after Joe Howard retired from the position in January. Linger is a retired teacher, coach and athletic director with 35 years experience with the APS. He graduated from East in 1976 and the University of Akron in 1983, and has served at Central-Hower as a teacher, and as a football and golf coach. He also was East’s Athletic Director and a Firestone teacher.
“We want to see the athletic department become a shining part of the district,” said Rambler, a 1982 Springfield graduate with college degrees from Akron and Cincinnati.
Howard, a 1969 North graduate who previously coached soccer at Firestone, worked with the APS for 18 years, 12 as the Program Manager of Interscholastic Athletics.