Egan: the face behind RBHS athletics


Photo illustration by Camryn DeVore.

Maddie Murphy

For RBHS Athletic Director David Egan, who is also an assistant principal, spontaneity and rolling with the punches are necessary skills to succeed in his job. There is no typical to-do list for Egan, and on any given day he could be putting out hundreds of little problematic flames in order to prevent a big fire. It is rare to not see Egan in his office by 8 a.m. each school day; however, on the rare occasion he is running a little behind schedule, it’s because his son has to be dropped off at daycare, which just happens to be located 50 minutes round trip from RBHS.
On any given day, Egan said he experiences things that are always “different and unpredictable.” While there are broader themes that tend to stay consistent throughout the day, every day is a surprise. In order to be successful in his role, Egan said communication is crucial and a definite constant.
“[Communication] can be engaging in conflict resolution and trying to tackle a problem,” Egan said. “I wasn’t really planning on it, but I spent the first two hours of my day engaged in [an] issue and trying to communicate with the representative parties to figure out what we’re going to do.”
In the digital age, Egan does a lot of his work through his computer and cell phone. Since a lot of his work can be done through emails and phone calls, he has mastered the art of multitasking.
“I get, and this is not an exaggeration, hundreds of emails a day, and so as I just look at my inbox right now, I’ve got an email from MSHSAA because they have chosen me to be the person who coordinates the selection of the sectional golf tournament and we haven’t been able to find any schools or courses willing to host, so I’ve got a dialogue there going on,” Egan said. “I’ve got an email from my secretary regarding the eligibility of a kid that we’re still working on. Our track coach sent me an email because we’re discussing how we could renovate the shot put area. I mean I’m just going down the list here. I’ve got an email from an official confirming tonight’s soccer game. These are just the ones I haven’t even opened yet.”
Before she became a principal, Dr. Jennifer Rukstad spent six years in Egan’s position as athletic director at RBHS. Understanding the complexity of the job, she has nothing but respect for him and did all she could to help him transition into his role.
“When I moved from athletic director to principal, my phone calls and emails went down dramatically,” Rukstad said. “So, having lived that, and having an understanding of the job, I think I was able to give him some kind of preparation for it, certainly in the early years, but even now, [I’m] trying to offer assistance when I [can].”
Email makes things convenient for being on-the-go, but also creates a feeling of never truly being off duty. Part of Egan’s responsibility is to supervise events three to four days a week. What some students may not know, though, is that he logs more than 12,000 miles each year in his own vehicle.
“Actually, a lot of people view [traveling] as one of the challenges of the job and that you’re on the road so much, but that’s actually one of the things I enjoy most about the job,” Egan said. “One, because that time in the car is a time that I can really collect my thoughts and engage in a lot of reflection, [and] two, because it’s safe not to have my device out while I’m driving so I try my best to put my cell phone away.”
Other than self-reflection, travel also provides Egan with the opportunity to enjoy some of his favorite parts of his job. Egan has a heart for kids and sports, making away games such a good incentive to push through more challenging situations.
“At home events, there are so many other things I’m responsible for that it makes watching the game itself less enjoyable because I don’t really get to sit there and enjoy it,” Egan said.
In the last six years, Egan has been impacting the lives of athletes and it does not go unnoticed. For 2017 RBHS graduate Luke Bley, Egan taught him how to be genuine and dedicated to service.
“He really cares about his kids,” Bley said. “You go to any Rock Bridge athlete’s signing, [and] he’s there. Whether or not he has a relationship with that athlete, he’s there, and more often than not he has something to say. He’s there because he cares about his kids and he wants them to know how proud he is of them.”
Bley’s relationship with Egan goes deeper than athletics. Though Bley played varsity football as a student, their friendship began in elementary school. This closeness stayed throughout Bley’s time at RBHS when he served on the Bruin Cup student board, a group of individuals Egan heads for months to plan a night to celebrate athletic achievement.
“We spent a lot of time together and he was always someone I could go to, to just hang out or to have a real talk about how to make Rock Bridge a better place for all of us,” Bley said.
Before Egan took the position he has now, he was a social studies teacher here. While this opportunity felt like a dream for him and filled him with joy, it was “anything but easy.” Feeling called to service, he stepped into the teaching role with a servant mindset and though he now serves in a different way, he has a desire for those personal interactions where he feels he is making the biggest difference.
“I want to serve kids, and I want to give my heart to kids and all that kind of stuff,” Egan said. “So, to leave the classroom where the vast majority of my interactions in a day are with kids to this role where the vast majority of my interactions in a day are with adults has been, and still is, the most difficult part of the transition.”
What surprised you about Egan’s life? Let us know in the comments below.