Ofstedal steps down from athletic director positionAfter 10 years as activities/athletic director at Hudson High School, Larry Ofstedal has moved into a custodian position with the school district.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
After 10 years as activities/athletic director at Hudson High School, Larry Ofstedal has moved into a custodian position with the school district.
“There’s a lot of stress with the job and a lot of hours, and I just felt that my personal life and my health was more important than dealing with those,” Ofstedal said.
He reported having some prostate trouble and said he knew that the stress of the athletic director job could make it worse.
Ofstedal has reason to be concerned about his health.
In 1981, he was diagnosed with, and survived, stage 4 lymphoma.
Then in 1995, he underwent eight months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.
Ofstedal came to Hudson in August 1998 after 22 years with the Lisbon, N.D., school district, where he was a teacher and coach.
Hudson High School teams had considerable success during Ofstedal’s tenure as athletic director. The girls basketball team, girls hockey team, boys hockey team and girls track teams all won state championships. For the girls basketball and hockey teams, it was multiple state championships.
“Larry has been a dedicated employee. (He’s) certainly committed to our athletic program,” said District Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten. “He’s cheered on so many of our student athletes over the years and really contributed to their success.”
Ofstedal, 58, said he posted for the open custodian job because he needs the health insurance the school district provides. A veteran of the Army National Guard, he said he’ll qualify for health care through the Veteran’s Administration at age 60.
He has experience as a custodian, too. He said he served as the janitor at his church in North Dakota, Trinity Lutheran, for four years because he needed income to supplement his teacher’s pay.
Bowen-Eggebraaten said the position of athletic director has been reclassified as an administrative one in the wake of Ofstedal’s departure.
The new athletic director will have to have a principal’s license and will be responsible for the programs at both the high school and middle school, Bowen-Eggebraaten said.
The athletic director also will act as a back-up associate principal, she said.
She said the position was elevated to the administrative level because of the growth in student population and the athletic program in the 10 years since Ofstedal was hired.
Ofstedal served at the coordinator level, she said.
“We’re really at the point where we need to invest in the program at this kind of level,” Bowen-Eggebraaten said of the reclassifying of the athletic director position.
She said both existing school district employees and candidates from outside of the district are being considered for the position.
The district has received “numerous” applications for the job and will quit accepting them at the end of this week, she said.
Bowen-Eggebraaten said she intends to recommend someone to fill the position to the school board at its July meeting.