END OF AN ERA

Shanks’ tenure as St. Edmond AD will conclude June 30

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Joe Shanks, shown during a St. Edmond baseball game last summer, will serve as the school’s athletic director through June 30. His 21-year tenure will come to an end at that point, according to the school.

For the first time in over two decades, a new face will be leading the St. Edmond athletic department beginning this summer.

The contract of current athletic director Joe Shanks will not be renewed for the 2017-18 school year. St. Edmond president Mary Gibb confirmed that the 59-year-old Shanks will complete the remainder of his tenure, which concludes June 30. He will also continue as the baseball coach through the upcoming season, Gibb said.

”We certainly want to thank Mr. Shanks for his time and service to St. Edmond Catholic School,” Gibb said in a statement.

With Shanks at the helm, St. Edmond has captured five state championships and won 24 North Central Conference titles. The school has also earned 54 state association banners in both boys and girls sports since the 2006 school year.

“First of all, I want to thank Fr. Patrick Walsh for hiring me in 1996 and giving me the opportunity to serve for 21 good years at St. Edmond,” Shanks said. “He was an exceptional educational leader. It’s been a pleasure to get to work with the faculty, students, parents and coaches at St. Edmond over the years.

“(My wife, Jody and I) are also so thankful for the opportunity to stay close to our parents, who still live in town, and be with them. We had a good run at St. Edmond and are fond of it all. It was a lot of fun, but now it’s time to look for new opportunities.”

Shanks — a 1976 graduate of St. Edmond, where he was twice named all-state in baseball — earned his 500th career coaching victory back in 2015. That same year, he was inducted into the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Shanks is also a member of the Briar Cliff University Hall of Fame.

Among the five state titles St. Edmond won while Shanks served as athletic director is the 2009 Class 2A baseball championship, in which Shanks served as head coach.

“Normally (during the extended Easter holiday), I take a fishing trip with some friends,” Shanks said. “Instead, I decided to stay home to visit with family and that was exactly what was needed. I had a great Easter, my brothers all came and we had our granddaughters here. It was just a nice, relaxing time that kind of helped (settle) all of this.”

Earlier this year, the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association honored Shanks for 25 years of service.

Accolades aside, Shanks wanted to also mention the student-athletes who he watched grow into model citizens on a daily basis at St. Edmond.

“Over the weekend, I ran into Nick Albrecht, who was visiting from Sioux City,” Shanks said. “He pitched for me a few years ago, but we were able to talk and it was just good seeing him again.

“Things like that are what makes doing all of this so rewarding. We thank all who supported us, and we’ll make the best of the situation and come out on top.”

St. Edmond hopes to have its next athletic director in place by July 1.

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