That said, it can be all about the presentation, as Wooster athletic director Andy Kellar has found out.
Kellar has been pushing back against the rumor of a special booster club being formed at Wooster High School to help augment the football program and work independently of the Wooster All-Sports Booster Club.
It began when new Wooster football coach Doug Haas started looking at what changes he would like to implement with the program. One was getting the team into a football camp at Ohio Northern University in late July, while another was tending to equipment needs. That is where things ultimately took a turn in an unwanted direction for Kellar, who was emphatic “there is not going to be a special booster club started at Wooster.”
“What happened is, through this process of (the coaching) change, some community members – not coaches or teachers or booster club members – reached out and said they would like to financially support the football camp at Ohio Northern,” said Kellar. “When they reached out, I said let’s talk to see what they had in mind.
“When we got together, they said they wanted to help subsidize the camp, much like how the (Wooster All-Sports) booster club helps subsidize kids who want to compete in our programs through pay-to-participate. I made the statement … who determines what each kid would get financially? Certain kids can’t afford that, some can and some in the middle can probably afford it but it will still be difficult for the family to come up with the money. I said what about supporting all the athletes, freshman through seniors, so we don’t have to determine who gets half, who gets full, etc. What’s the cost? Let’s shoot for that and see if we can’t get enough people to pay for the entire camp.”
The plan was for 10 core people to each contribute $200 and each of those people to get another 10 people to raise the money for the camp and equipment needs.
“If they got each person to sponsor $200 that would be $20,000, half for the camp and half for equipment needs,” said Kellar. “I came in as athletic director August 1 last year and things were already in motion. This year, as we’re going through equipment needs, coach Haas is seeing he may have 90 kids come out for football and we only had 62 helmets … so the additional money would subsidize the football program’s equipment needs. We need the helmets.
“This group is independent in the community. There is no organization, no president or treasurer. I made it clear if they do go out on their own and make this happen, the money is going through the booster club, every cent. Every program – football, soccer, tennis or any sport – has an account, and coach Haas and I would determine what the money is spent on, based on our needs other than the camp. No one is dictating. We’ll let them know what the money is being spent on because everyone who donates deserves to know what they are donating to.
“But, there is not a separate group or a rogue group out there. That is not the case.”
Need is what is going to drive issues, said Kellar.
“We need 30 helmets,” he said. “These are community people coming in, which is no different than if some soccer alumni came in and said, ‘We’ve talked among ourselves and we want to raise $100,000 for a grass field and lights.’ If they came to me with a plan on how to raise that money, I’d be silly not to talk with them. I wouldn’t set up a separate booster club. We’d work with the All-Sports Boosters. I am the director of athletics, not the director of football or any specific sport. My job is to support every single sport to the best of my ability.”
Kellar is working on two similar issues, one with softball and the other gymnastics. Neither is going to mean the creation of a separate booster club, but Kellar noted that they will need to work with the all-sports booster club to solve the issues.
“If I have to find fundraisers to provide for those programs and those athletes, then I will do so,” said Kellar. “It would be a dereliction of my duties not to try to do that and support our athletes, whether they are football players, wrestlers or they run track. They are Wooster athletes and students, and if I didn’t pursue that, I would be wrong.
“We need the community support for all our programs.”
Published: June 12, 2012