Longtime teacher and coach Rick Dissinger is the new athletic director at Cedar Crest High School.
The Cornwall-Lebanon School District Board of Directors announced in a release that it hired Dissinger at its Dec. 7 reorganization meeting. He succeeds Chris Groff, who took over in November as principal at the high school, replacing Nicole Malinoski.
Dissinger assumed his new role Dec. 8. Prior to this, he taught social studies at Cedar Crest for 27 years, in addition to coaching several sports.
“I enjoyed teaching,” he told LebTown. “I’ve always coached, I’ve always liked all kinds of sports, I love being busy.”
Becoming athletic director “seemed like a natural fit,” said Dissinger, a 1988 Cedar Crest alumnus. “I look forward to the opportunity.”
For nine years, he was head coach of the boys varsity basketball team, garnering Section 1 Coach of the Year honors for the 2001-02 and 2007-08 seasons from the Lancaster-Lebanon Boys Basketball Coaches Association. His fellow coaches elected Dissinger as association vice president.
For the past 18 years, he also served as Cedar Crest’s head golf coach. In addition, Dissinger established the auxiliary parent club for boys basketball programs, and has been an assistant coach for a number varsity sports during his years at the high school.
He will continue this season as an assistant coach to the new Cedar Crest girls basketball head coach, Will Wenninger.
As athletic director, Dissinger has many responsibilities, including budgeting, scheduling, facility usage, event management, hiring of coaches, “getting kids ready to play,” he said, and more. Many of these are more challenging in the midst of COVID-19.
All sports are continuing at the high school, which numbers about 1,600 students. Right now, during the winter season, the current sports are boys and girls basketball, boys and girls bowling, swimming, wrestling and competitive cheerleading, Dissinger said.
If boys and girls teams are counted separately, students at Cedar Crest compete in about about two dozen sports, he said.
Dissinger is also involved in youth athletics in the community, the school district release noted.
He assisted in forming the Falcon Youth Basketball Club, which he serves as president, and is secretary for the Falcon Youth Baseball Association.
Dissinger has directed many youth summer camps, and supervised, coordinated and scheduled youth program activities during the past two decades.
He also volunteers with the Free Throw for Cancer Shoot-a-Thon (American Cancer Society), the Athletes Helping Athletes golf event (Special Olympics), and the Brandon Oblinsky Scholarship, named in honor of the former Cedar Crest basketball player who died in a car accident at age 26.
A graduate of Penn State, Dissinger completed continuing education credits in sports management, sports marketing and current issues in sports from the United States Sports Academy.
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