The start of the 2021-22 school year is fast approaching, and that means the fall sports seasons are about to heat up for athletic directors, coaches, players and fans.
One person whose schedule is changing this year is Laura Grimm.
The Ringgold athletic director since the summer of 2015, Grimm recently turned in her letter of resignation to the Ringgold School Board as she has been hired as the assistant athletic director for the Bethel Park School District.
“Bethel Park was an opportunity that I had to look into when it was posted,” Grimm said. “The decision was very hard because at the end of the day, Ringgold gave me my start in this field.
“They took a chance on a 25-year-old with no experience. I am forever indebted to Ringgold and feel the athletic department is headed in the right direction.”
Grimm does not want to leave Ringgold high-and-dry and has offered to stay into the start of the school year. She has Bethel Park’s approval to do so.
“I have volunteered to stay until Sept. 3rd to get the fall sports off and running,” she said. “This is such a pivotal time and I don’t want to leave them short-handed.
“With physicals, eligibility lists and other important aspects, I don’t want administrators getting stuck doing things as they are busy enough as it is with the start of the school year.”
Grimm said that Bethel Park has been flexible with her and the transition to her new job, where she will serve under athletic director Dan Sloan. The two have worked together for several years.
“I am very thankful that everyone at Bethel has been flexible and understanding,” she said. “The fact that Dan is still there and not leaving, it is in a good place.
“I am excited to get going but he understands how important these next three to four weeks are and he understands me not wanting to leave Ringgold in a bind.”
Previously, Sloan had been the assistant athletic director at Bethel Park.
“My entire time at Ringgold, Dan has been there in some capacity,” Grimm said. “We worked frequently together as our middle school teams are in the same organization and we have overlapped a bit at the high school level.
“I called him to see what this position would entail, and from those conversations I thought it would be a really good fit, so I applied.”
After two rounds of interviews and a final meeting with the superintendent and assistant superintendent, Grimm was hired.
Under Grimm, the athletic department at Ringgold saw several major accomplishments with the 2018 baseball team winning a PIAA championship, Anna Vogt winning WPIAL and PIAA diving championships and several teams were runners-up for WPIAL championships.
Prior to being the athletic director, Grimm was the girls basketball coach at Ringgold.
Despite her enthusiasm for the new post, Grimm is already having a hard time saying goodbye to Ringgold.
“There is a good group of people in that high school and leaving them is the hardest part,” she said. “Walking away from them, it feels like a family, and I will miss all of the people. But this was the right time to make a change.”