By Keith Knepp
WARSAW — Leadership changed hands at Warsaw’s City-County Athletic Complex, better known as the CCAC, in September 2021 when longtime executive director Karl Swihart turned over his keys and title to Mike Hagy.
Swihart had been the multi-use sports complex’s leader for around 16 years, affecting numerous changes and improvements to the nonprofit facility during his tenure.
Before coming to Warsaw, Hagy worked for the city of Kokomo’s parks and recreation department, running the adult softball leagues in his hometown. Prior to that, for 16 years he ran a pest control business. As Swihart was preparing his exit from the job, he reached out to Hagy to suggest he apply for the position.
“I had known Karl on a personal basis for 15 years,” said Hagy. “I’m also the National Softball Association Adult Slow Pitch assistant state director, so I run tournaments throughout the state. I formerly played and coached softball, so I had been to the CCAC a hundred times over the years before I even started here.
“Sports has always been my thing. Softball has been my life for 31 years. I’m in the Indiana NSA Hall of Fame. Last fall I was inducted into the NSA National Hall of Fame in Panama City, Fla., so I have tons of experience with sports.”
According to Hagy, the CCAC has multiple soccer baseball and softball fields that welcome numerous tournaments throughout the year. It also has an indoor facility that hosts pickleball, gymnastics, basketball, indoor soccer, cornhole and even professional wrestling.
The CCAC recently joined the NFL flag football program for youth, which will begin next year. Hagy emphasized he’s willing to listen to anyone who has suggestions or new ideas to bring to the CCAC’s facilities.
“My daily role is trying to figure out how CCAC can become a community place. When I first came in, the people I talked to had the perception that CCAC was nothing more than a weekend facility for baseball and softball. I’m trying to change that perception. We do offer local soccer leagues, we rent out our fields and the indoor facility. We’re working every day to improve the facility and the park.”
Last fall, the CCAC held its first trick-or-treat event for the community, which will return at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. This past spring, Hagy put together an Easter egg hunt for the kids, also something that will return. For both events, the CCAC partnered with other organizations and nonprofits in the community to sponsor the fun.
“Being in a nonprofit is really different for me,” Hagy said. “I’m used to funding. Here it’s all self-generated. I’m constantly writing grants. We have board members who help write grants to try to secure funding for certain projects and improvements. It’s a never-ending battle searching and hunting down people who are willing to help.”
The CCAC does receive minimal funding from the city of Warsaw. They also receive funding from the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hagy said that from April through the end of August, the CCAC is responsible for about 70% of the innkeepers tax raised in Kosciusko County, a portion of which is received through the quarterly KCCVB grant.
Hagy is one of two full-time employees of the CCAC, the other being Assistant Director Eric Lackey. It also employed a Grace College student full time during the summer, but who has returned to part-time status this fall.