The new leader of Marion Giants athletics brings collegiate-level experience and a vision for maximizing student-athlete potential, supporting coaches, and generating community excitement.
Jamy Bechler will take over as director of athletics at Marion High School starting June 2. He was approved by the Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees during its regular meeting on May 14.
“There’s a lot of opportunity at Marion,” Bechler said. “You need a visionary leader when you have 20 sports, a wide fan base, and a proud tradition. It’s a big job, and I’m honored to have been chosen.”
Bechler most recently served as associate athletic director and head women’s basketball coach for Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn. He has previously served in various coaching and instructional positions at colleges around the country. His history of visionary leadership in developing high level programs, his emphasis on innovative thinking, and his passion for supporting coaches and helping to provide the tools and opportunities for growth are traits that will help advance Marion Giants athletics.
“Jamy brings to Marion successful experience as a collegiate coach and athletic administrator. He will relate well with our coaches, our student-athletes, our alumni, and our community,” Marion Community Schools Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “His rich experience at the collegiate level will help us prepare our student-athletes for life beyond Marion High School.”
Bechler emphasized the importance of the lessons student-athletes can learn both on and off the field with good leadership in place.
“The tradition of Marion Giants athletic excellence, combined with dedicated, talented staff, and outstanding community support, gives Marion Community Schools a great opportunity to be among the best of the best in Indiana high school athletics,” he said, “but it’s ultimately about the student-athletes. Certainly, we want Marion athletics to be successful, but it’s really about our individual student-athletes’ experiences, their development. We want our students to go on to success beyond the playing field. If we can help them develop their character, that will serve them well in their future lives, no matter what path they travel.”
The impact he has had at his most recent post at Martin Methodist College is clear. Not only is he the winningest coach in the women’s basketball program’s history, but he also led his 2013-14 team to earn the NAIA’s National Champions of Character team award.
“It is with mixed emotions that we congratulate Coach Bechler on his new professional opportunity,” Martin Methodist Executive Athletic Director Jeff Bain said. “We are both excited for him for earning this advancement, but we will also genuinely miss him and his family. Jamy has done an outstanding job of stabilizing and leading our women’s basketball program while competing in two very tough conferences. In addition, he has been very resourceful administratively as we made the transition into our new conference affiliation this past year while he served as a member of our Athletic Administration Management Team. We sincerely wish Coach Bechler, Tabitha, and Jaylen nothing but the best, and we look forward to hear of their future successes.”
Bechler’s experience and character will undoubtedly help Marion build on its proud athletic tradition.
“Successful athletic programs really take a holistic approach,” he said. “If you don’t have good sixth-grade teams, or ninth-grade teams, or junior varsity teams, you’re eventually not going to have a good varsity program. So that development will absolutely be a priority for us moving forward.”
A big part of the athletic director’s job, he said, is making sure coaches have what they need to be able to do their jobs well.
“I want to be a resource, to take care of things behind the scenes,” he said, “so our coaches can focus on making their student-athletes better. It’s about helping coaches with more than just the basketball, the football, the tennis part of it. Having been a long-time coach, I bring that perspective: How would I like to have been helped by an athletic director when I was a coach? That’s what I’ll be asking them. Together, we can make it possible for them to be more successful, and ultimately for the student-athletes to be more successful.”
Lindsay expressed confidence that Bechler, with his experience and innovative mindset, can help Marion athletics continue to build on past success.
“The athletic director is an important and visible leadership role for our community,” Lindsay said, “and we look forward to Jamy and his wife, Tabitha, and their son, Jaylen, making a positive impact as they invest into the lives of the people of Marion. We are excited about the character, vision, skill, and expertise that Jamy is going to provide as our next director of Marion Giant athletics.”
Bechler plans to move with his family to Marion, and Marion Community Schools is happy to welcome them.
“Marion Community Schools has undergone amazing success in recent years in regards to graduation rates and test scores, as evidenced by the recent U.S. News and World Report bronze medal award,” Bechler said. “We want to be part of that continued success.”