Blair Roman, Carson High’s highly successful football coach, is ready to start a new chapter in his education career.
Roman, who has guided Carson to six league/conference titles in the past seven years, was recently named to succeed Bob Bateman as Carson High’s athletic director. Bateman retired after 37 years at Carson High.
Roman was one of three finalists for the position, and all of the finalists were interviewed by a committee of teachers, coaches, administrators and a parent.
“The most impressive thing about Blair is the way he relates with the kids and parents in his program,” said CHS Principal Tasha Fuson. “He’s very calm and even tempered. He seems to have the respect around the community and the people he works with.
“The AD has to be a people person, and obviously he has to know a lot about athletics. He has a run a very solid program.”
Fuson admitted the decision was quick once Bateman gave notice he was retiring.
“We didn’t have much notice from coach Bateman,” Fuson said. “Some (family) things came up in the summer, and he felt it was best for the school and community to retire. He wasn’t planning on retiring until the end of this year. We wanted a new teacher in place by the first day of school.”
Roman, a history teacher and weight training teacher, will now move out of the classroom. He will teach three weight training classes and devote the rest of his day to his new duties.
“I’m excited about the opportunity given me by Mrs. Fuson,” Roman said soon after he accepted the position. “I look forward to serving coaches and the athletes at Carson High, and working with our community, and to keeping Carson High a top-notch athletic program.
“I think the fact that I’ve had a lot of experience running a very visible program (helped me get the job). That is something I bring to the table. We have had a good balance between athletics. It goes hand in hand with what I preach as a football coach. I think I have the respect of (other) coaches/teachers at school, and hope that continues.”
Roman admitted he doesn’t have a grand plan or vision — yet. Given the quick way this happened, who can blame him.
“I do think there are a few facility improvements that need to be made,” he said. “We are trying to work on getting new scoreboards for the baseball and football fields, an indoor hitting facility for softball like baseball has, and an enclosed press box/announcing booth for softball.”
The field-turf on the football/soccer field is coming close to needing replacing. The fields are guaranteed for 10 years, but there are already a couple of patched-up places.
Roman sees turf replacement happening any time within the next 3 to 5 years. Fuson said she was told by school district officials new turf will be installed. Going back to grass doesn’t seem to be an option the district wants to take.
One of the many positives about Bateman is the way he stood up for coaches — when warranted.
“I want to continue to support coaches like Bob did,” Roman said. “He was a strong advocate for coaches. Many people don’t have a clue about what goes on during the season or off-season. Some parents understand.”
Bateman brought drug testing to Carson High eight years ago, and Roman wants that program to continue.
“I think it (the testing) is a big part of our success,” Roman said. “Kathy Bartosz from Partnership Carson City through grants has enabled us to have the program. We want to make the kids our No. 1 priority on and off the field.”
Another key to Carson’s success has been its coaching staffs. Any coach will tell you having interaction during the day is critical, and CHS is a proponent for having head coaches on campus whenever possible.
Four of Carson’s varsity football coaches are on campus, and one other teaches in the district. The Senators also have Carlos Mendeguia (head basketball coach), Bryan Manoukian and Matt Morgan (varsity baseball), Shane Quilling and Scott Vickrey (softball), Robert Maw (track and volleyball) and Monica Weaver (swimming) on campus. That’s huge, and not that many schools in the area can make that claim.
Roman added having good off-campus coaches is important, and he also feels the district needs to keep an eye on potential teachers who can also coach. Soccer has been one sport in the last 12 years in which Carson has thrived with off-campus head coaches. Ditto for cross country.
Bateman, along with individual sport coaches, has been instrumental in having Carson in the mix for hosting regional basketball, wrestling and track, and hosting state track and soccer. Roman wants to continue that tradition.
“Credit to coach Bateman, he has put on great events,” Roman said. “Ultimately, the decision will be hers (Fuson). She has been very supportive of hosting regional and state events. I don’t see that changing. My philosophy is that it helps showcase the entire community. It also benefits other sports.”
Fuson admitted hosting big events, especially track, requires flexibility. Because of parking concerns for state track last spring, she had just a half day of school. She said in a larger, multi-school district, she might not have been able to make that happen.
“It’s great for showing off our facility,” she said. “I’m always happy to show off our complex.”
Carson is hosting regional basketball this year as well as regional track.