PITTSBURG — Pittsburg Community Schools announced Jeff Staley as the new activities director and assistant principal on Thursday.

Staley will be replacing the former Athletic Director Brannon Kidd.

“With the tradition of excellence in athletics and activities that Pittsburg High School has, it was a perfect fit for my wife and I,” Staley said. “We are very excited.”

Staley has 14 years of experience as the athletic director of Willard Public Schools in Willard, Missouri.

“I’ve been an activities director here at Willard for the past 14 years and it has kind of become who I am,” Staley said. “I don’t think anyone comes out of college planning on becoming an AD, but it was the path that my career took and I fell in love with it. I absolutely fell in loved being the athletics director and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

PHS superintendent Destry Brown said Staley is the complete package.

"We are excited to add Jeff to our staff at PHS," Brown said in a press release. "His people skills, experience and ability to build unity and success in activities programs is what set him apart."

Staley said he comes into the position ready to learn and eager to get started.

“I want to make a positive impact,” Staley said. “There’s going to be a learning curve at the beginning to find out the needs of the programs and I’m going to rely heavily on the coaches, the faculty, administration and even the community to be honest. I know the expectations are high and so our mine, but I want to improve upon it.”

Although Staley said leaving his hometown will be difficult, he is excited to plant roots in the Pittsburg community.

“No question it’s bittersweet,” Staley said. “This has become our hometown. We’ve invested in the community, as my wife and I will do in Pittsburg. I hope you guys will find that to be true. We’ve become Tigers here at Willard and we want to become Dragons at Pittsburg. That’s what we do. I’m going to miss these kids, I have a great relationship with a lot of them and that by far is the hardest part about leaving. The sweet part is, we’re very excited to start another adventure in Pittsburg.”

Ultimately, Staley said his goal is to make PHS a better place by enforcing his philosophy of excellence.

“I am about positive coaching, I’m about winning, I’m about excelling and I’m about doing it the right way,” Staley said. “Our kids at Pittsburg will win, we will win with class, sportsmanship and we’re going to do this together. All of our programs are going to support each other, that’s kind of my philosophy of athletics. I come to work everyday with that motivation.”

PHS will be hosting a meet and greet event at 5:30 p.m. on May 22 in the high school commons.

— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at jbuckamneer@morningsun.net and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.