By Rory Sharrock
As the varsity head coach for Jonesboro volleyball and boys basketball, Dan Maehlman has all the intangibles to oversee a successful program.
Since coming over from Babb Middle School in 2000, he's made a habit of hanging up region title banners and taking his teams deep into the playoffs.
Now, he plans to use this winning formula and brew up a special mixture for the entire school as the new athletic director.
Maehlman takes over for Troy Baker, who will officially resign at the conclusion of the school year for a new position in Memphis, Tenn.
"This is something I've always wanted to do. It actually became available three years ago when Troy Baker came in," said Maehlman. But at that time I didn't want to do it because it was my first year as head basketball coach and I wanted to make sure that I had it working right. But when he (Baker) decided he was going to Memphis, Dr. Jackson (principal) opened the job up. I went through the interview process and thankfully I got it."
Time management will be a critical factor for Maehlman as he juggles his administrative duties while coaching the volleyball and boys basketball teams.
If that wasn't enough, he also carries a heavy load teaching multiple classes.
Although his stress levels are sure to increase due to the demands of his new position, he does have one thing in his favor. He has the final month of the current academic year and the summer to develop a game plan for his vision.
Maehlman has many items on his things-to-do list, but priority No. 1 is strengthening the unity between the entire coaching staff at Jonesboro High School.
By doing this, he feels it will have a trickle down effect of positive attitudes on the student-body and throughout the community.
"I want our coaching staff to be more of team where we all work together not to improve our individual sports, but improve each program," he said. "When you do that, it improves the school and a lot of positive things come out of athletics.
Here as of late, the only positive things you see on the news or in the newspaper is athletics and there's a lot that goes on in Clayton County that's positive."
Along with increasing the overall coaching bond, Maehlman wants to bring the other sports on par with the volleyball and basketball program.
This past school year, with the exception of the boys soccer squad, which went 12-4, every team at Jonesboro finished under .500.
Football has and always will be the money maker in high school sports, but the Cardinals haven't cashed in on a winning season since 2002 when wide receiver Harry Douglas, who recently was selected in the third round by the Atlanta Falcons, was picking apart Clayton County defenders.
However, Maehlman is optimistic about a revised coaching staff under head man Clint Satterfield and the hopes of a speedy return to glory on Friday nights at Tara Stadium.
"With the new staff that coach Satterfield has brought in, they have good football backgrounds and came from winning programs. In the small time they've been in here working with our guys, they're busting their tails and I think it's going to pay off," he said. "We were 3-7 last year.
This year, at worst, I think we'll be 5-5. But I'm looking for this team, with the way they're going to work, and the dedication the coaches have, I see a possibility of making the state playoffs for the first time since 2002."
Maehlman, who is a native of Ohio, graduated from Allderson Broaddus College in Philippi W.Va. with a degree in physical education and health in 1996.
His 2007-08 coaching stats include winning the Region 4-AAAA volleyball title by going 37-8 overall and 9-0 in league play. The Lady Cards advanced to the Elite 8 before being eliminated by St. Pius.
On the basketball court, the boys went 24-6 and 11-1 in the region, which earned them the regular season 4-AAAA championship crown.
The hoops team also advanced to the Elite 8, but lost at the buzzer versus Fayette County.