WARSAW – Jeff Hamstra has a lot of experience and knowledge when it comes to high school athletics.
He also definitely has a deep concern and compassion that is apparent for the student-athletes who he deals with.
Those qualities should definitely serve him well in his new role.
Hamstra is settling in after being hired in late June as the assistant athletic director at Warsaw Community High School.
“I’m just very excited for this opportunity and it really humbles me,” said Hamstra during an interview on Tuesday. “I feel this is a great job and I’m sure that there were many outstanding and very qualified applicants for it. This is a great school with great coaches in a great community.
“The athletic programs here at Warsaw have had tremendous success. The administration here is fantastic and they are committed to athletics and it being part of the total educational process for the students here.”
Hamstra, who spent last year as a math teacher at Munster High School, is also no stranger to the Warsaw community. He student taught at WCHS for boys basketball coach Doug Ogle during his college days. Hamstra played both basketball and baseball at Grace College from 2002-2006.
“We (he and wife Kaylynn) really enjoyed our time living in Warsaw previously when we attended Grace,” noted Hamstra. “I still know some of the people here and I just felt like it was a really good fit for myself and our family.”
Hamstra, a 2002 Kankakee Valley High School graduate, has been going 100 miles an hour the last few months. His wife had their fourth child in late June, son Levi, while he taught summer school at Munster and he has been looking for a home in Warsaw.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” stated Hamstra, who fills a position that has been vacant for several years. “But, we are looking forward to it. We are looking forward to getting settled in here and being a part of the community.”
Hamstra, who is still living in DeMotte, did supervise a number of athletic events at Munster last school year. He ran the Class 4-A baseball sectional tournament that the school hosted. He has also been the athletic director at Covenant Christian High School in DeMotte and was the boys basketball coach at Kankakee Valley.
“I enjoy the athletics side of it and that’s why I applied for this job,” Hamstra explained. “I love working with the kids and I enjoy watching high school athletic events of all kinds. I had great people to learn from and work with, like coaches Ogle and Kessler, when I was at Grace as a student-athlete myself.
“I feel that athletics is part of the high school education. It’s important for us to give these student-athletes the tools that they need to succeed after high school in their career and with their families.
“There are so many important things that athletics teaches, like being part of a team and something bigger than just yourself. Also things such as integrity and work ethic and being able to handle disappointments. My favorite guys to coach have always been the ones who just work their tails off to earn the playing time that they can.”
Hamstra, who coached freshman boys basketball at Munster last season, and his wife have four children; seven-year old Landon, six-year old Kendal, three-year old Benjamin and recent addition Levi.
“I feel like the experiences that I’ve had on the athletics side have been pretty diverse and I’ve been given responsibility with those,” said Hamstra. “I feel that I am a very organized person and a good communicator.
“I enjoy when an athletic event that I’m hosting runs smoothly. That always makes me happy. I just want to communicate well with our athletes and coaches and parents here.
“I definitely want to be here for a while.”
Sounds like a good fit for everyone involved.