Chris Decker built the foundation for South Warren’s athletic programs, and Nick Lowe will be tasked with continuing that growth.

Lowe was announced as the Spartans’ next athletic director and assistant principal Tuesday in a Twitter post from principal Jenny Hester.

“I’m very thankful Ms. Hester gave me the opportunity. I’ve been very blessed in my educational career to work with a lot of really good people,” Lowe said in a phone interview with the Daily News. “ ... The 14th District is a really good district to be a part of. I’ve coached in it and been an AD in it, and now having the opportunity to do the same thing at a different school, it’s exciting. It’s a busy life, but at the same time, it’s one that’s very rewarding because you get to impact kids and help them grow and help their high school experience be the best that it can possibly be. That’s something I’m looking forward to a lot.”

Lowe served as the dean of students at South Warren this school year after a decade at Greenwood, where he was athletic director for five years and also served as a cross country coach, so he’s familiar with those around South Warren and Region 4, including Decker – his eighth grade physical education teacher – who he will be replacing. Decker has been the school’s athletic director since it opened in 2010 and is retiring at the end of the school year.

“He built a really good foundation. He did the hard part,” Lowe, a Greenwood graduate, said. “He had to build a school from the ground up with athletics, which is not an easy thing to do.”

With the school’s athletic department running smoothly, Lowe says he plans on taking a step back and finding ways in which he can continue to improve the programs and help the coaches in place. Since South Warren has been open, it has won team regional titles in baseball, boys’ soccer, softball, boys’ bowling, boys’ and girls’ golf, girls’ track and field, boys’ cross country and volleyball, as well as two state championships in football.

“Really, just kind of keep the trajectory going the way it’s going, which is up in just about every one of the programs,” he said.

One of Lowe’s main goals, however, is to eventually get South Warren’s feeder schools more involved to create a better “athletic community.”

“It being a newer school, being 10 years old, you’re still kind of developing that culture, building that culture, and it was something I saw even at Greenwood when we were 20 years old, where we had just kind of started building that tradition a little bit,” Lowe said. “South’s in that situation where they’re building a really good athletic tradition, but how do we make sure we know that our kindergartners and our first graders know they’re Spartans from kindergarten, first grade and all the way up to senior year?”

South Warren will have a new volleyball coach this fall – Lindsey Sheffield – and is still in the process of hiring a new boys’ basketball coach, after Blane Embry resigned following the season. Lowe is hoping to help with the transition of both coaches.

The KHSAA is currently in a dead period until May 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring sports in 2020 have already been canceled, as well as the remainder of the state basketball tournaments. While it is unclear when high school sports will return, Lowe believes the work the coaches are doing now will make his transition easier.

“Luckily, a lot of our coaches – and it’s the same way at just about every high school – they try to do their best at staying in touch with their athletes, whether it’s doing Zoom meetings or Google conference calls, and a lot of them are teachers, so they’re still able to talk to them via Google Classroom and through phone and email,” he said. “I think that everybody will be biting at the bit to get back at it and I think that everybody will just be excited to get back going.”{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.

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