YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. — Rob Barrett may have been named new Yorktown Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health on April 3, which is effective in July, but he was familiar with Husker athletics long before that.

Barrett grew up in Putnam Valley and from an early age knew about Yorktown athletics and the tremendous support that it receives from the community.  Barrett’s high-school teams competed against Yorktown while he was at Lakeland, where he played varsity soccer and basketball, before graduating in 1988.

“Certainly you would have had to have your head stuck in the sand if you didn’t know about Yorktown lacrosse,” said Barrett, who replaces longtime athletic director Fio Nardone. “More recently, my 5 and 7-year old boys played their youth soccer and T-ball in Yorktown and the experience was wonderful and confirmed once again the type of community that Yorktown is when it comes to sports.”

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The Yorktown athletic directors’ position has always been a position that Barrett said he discussed with his wife many times over the past decade since he earned his school district leadership certification. 

“We would talk about the support, the facilities, the commitment to success, the youth programs and the location to home,” Barrett said.

All of those things make the Yorktown AD position one of the most attractive positions in Section 1 and the entire state according to Barrett.

“I clearly have strong feelings about the school district and the athletic program to have given up a tenured position in Port Chester and the 14 years that I spent there building a reputation as a hardworking professional,” Barrett said.

Barrett said that his short-term goals for the athletic program at Yorktown will be to meet, learn about and develop relationships with his school community including students, teachers, coaches, boosters and administration. He also said that he wants to get to know the larger community including the recreation department, Yorktown Athletic Club and all of the other groups involved in Yorktown sports.

“I think the long-term goals will be formed as I start to learn the district goals and understand the school community,” Barrett said.

Barrett has been the athletic director at Port Chester technically for two years but was appointed in January two-and-a-half years ago so that he could transition into the position and start to hire his coaching staff. Prior to being athletic director he was also an athletic coordinator for the district overseeing the daily operations of athletics for three years.

“I’ve learned a great deal over the past two-and-a-half years and the years as athletic coordinator about the various aspects of being an athletic director including; scheduling, hiring, evaluating, event management, community outreach, grant writing, safety and many other things,” Barrett said.

He said equally important in many ways was his time spent being a fifth-grade classroom teacher, physical education teacher and middle school assistant principal in the district because it prepared him to be a well-rounded administrator.   

“I have been very deliberate in my career and have been lucky to have had so many experiences in my career,” Barrett said. “I can truly say that in each position that I have been in, I have enjoyed them and feel blessed to have been able to do them.”

Barrett said that he’s been fortunate to have had some great mentors and colleagues that have been patient in answering questions, sharing their experience and information.

“I think that each of the positions and the people that have surrounded those positions has prepared me in some shape or form to be an athletic director,” Barrett said. “The one thing that I learned in each of those positions is that students are and should be at the center of all decisions that are made.”