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 June 15.

Vassalotti, 47, comes to APS after 20 seasons as a head football coach and four years as an assistant prior to that. He resigned in January as Tallmadge’s football coach after 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, who is in his 23rd year as an English teacher, said it is tough to leave Tallmadge. He guided the Blue Devils to the Division III playoffs and a 6-5 record this past year.

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. “From 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 bachelor’s degree from Miami (Ohio) University, and holds two master’s 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 athletic director since Joe Howard retired in January after 12 years as the program manager of interscholastic athletics. Linger is a retired teacher, coach and athletic director with 35 years experience with APS.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.