The Waterloo School Board unanimously voted at its meeting Monday night to promote first grade teacher Brian Unger to the district’s athletic director and Waterloo High School dean of students position.
Mitch North is leaving that role at the end of the school year to become the principal/assistant director at Career Center of Southern Illinois.
“We’re proud to recommend Brian Unger for this athletic director position,” Waterloo Superintendent Brian Charron said. “We’re excited about it.”
The board’s approval did not finalize Unger’s promotion, as terms of his contract must still be negotiated. For Unger’s part, it appears that will not be a problem.
“This is my dream job,” he said. “I am very passionate about teaching and coaching, and I am very passionate about sports, so this is a dream come true for me. I really enjoy coaching, but when this position opened up, I thought this was a chance to influence more than just baseball in the district.”
A Gibault Catholic High School graduate born and raised in Waterloo, Unger has worked in the Waterloo School District since 2012.
Prior to coming here, he served as head baseball coach at Quincy University, getting promoted up from the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator role. In Waterloo, he has coached seventh grade baseball, sixth grade basketball and been assistant coach/pitching coach for the WHS baseball team.
In his playing days, Unger went 11-1 as a pitcher during the 1997 season for the Gibault team that went to the state tournament. After high school, Unger played two years at Southwestern Illinois College before transferring to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, a Division I school, then transferred to Quincy for his senior year.
In his latest role at Waterloo, which starts Aug. 11, Unger said he has a few goals.
“Being a teacher and coach in the district I know we have amazing coaches and student-athletes, so one of my goals is to showcase these coaches and athletes to the community,” he said. “Also, I want to continue the great strides that Mitch North made. Our athletic department is where it is because of him. I want to challenge and encourage our coaches to develop our student-athletes, not only on the court and field, but as people as well.”