While finalizing field arrangements for St. Frances Academy varsity football team recently, Nick Myles gained an appreciation of his new position as athletic director.
“The thing that’s surprised me is the volume of the work. There were a lot of things that people didn’t see him [former athletic director Jerome Shelton],” said Myles. “When you do a good job, the hard work never gets notice.”
Myles is hoping to continue the progress made by his predecessor, who stepped down at the end of the recent school year. A varsity boys’ assistant and teacher at the east Baltimore school, Myles moved into his new position at the beginning of July.
St. Frances had only boys and girls basketball when Shelton became AD in 1998. Now, the Chase Street has football, tennis, baseball, lacrosse, volleyball and track. In 2002, the school opened a gymnasium and community center on its inner city campus.
“It was just time for me to do something else. I’ve grown into the position and a lot of things were accomplished,” said Shelton. “It was just time to relinquish it to someone else.”
That person is Myles, who served as athletic director at Baltimore Freedom Academy in 2005 before joining the St. Frances staff the following year. A graduate of Bowie State University, Myles played basketball and baseball at Dunbar.
“It was great experience, athletically and academically,” said Myles of his high school alma-mater. “They definitely promote student-athletes at Dunbar. We want to do the same here. A lot of great things happened here that we keep inside.”
Myles pointed out 10 student-athletes from the school’s 2010 graduating class earned scholarships including Durrell Anderson (Maryland-Eastern Shore, baseball), Dante Holmes (Marshall basketball), Jason Jones (Goucher, basketball) and Wayne Sparrow (Richmond, basketball).
Myles’ toughest challenge is being “landlocked,” as other than basketball, St. Frances’ athletic teams have to play home games off-campus. He said the Panthers’ football team will play its home games at Patterson Park’s Utz Field. Last season, the school’s newest varsity program played home matches at Meade High in Anne Arundel County.
“We needed something close so our student body and families can come out and support us,” said Myles. “The city parks and recreation bureau has been supportive of our programs.”
Myles said he’ll remain the lead assistant for the boys’ basketball team under coach Mark Karcher. Myles said the former St. Frances All-Metro standout, who succeeded mentor William Wells on the sidelines after the 2007-2008 season, recommended Myles for the athletic director position.
“He’ll [Myles] bring a new vision and direction,” said Shelton, who will remain as girls’ varsity basketball coach. “He’s familiar with the program. I only see productive things under coach Myles.”
Myles said he’s excited about working closely with St. Frances’ administration including school president Sister John Francis Schilling, who’s been a fixture at the scorers’ table for all boys’ varsity basketball home games. He doesn’t think his position will affect his sideline relationship.
“I’ve always given my input when needed,” said Myles. “It’s the same being an athletic director.”