As a baseball player and golfer at Hudson Falls, Shane Jones’ aim was to beat anyone wearing the Johnstown purple and gold when the Foothills Council teams met. As an administrator now at the once-rival school, Jones’ objective is to do everything he can to help Johnstown student-athletes succeed.
The Sir Bills new athletic director has hit the ground running in his quest, seeking input from the man he is replacing and from the coaches he will be working with on a daily basis.
“I’ve sent out a coaches survey,” the 30-year-old Jones said Friday afternoon. “I’ve asked them what are our strengths and areas where we need growth. What are some of the pressing concerns. What can I do to help you? There’s no better people to reach out to.”
Jones said his new role will keep him busy over the summer months as he delves into the work that Mike Satterlee did for the district on an interim basis for the last three years before announcing his retirement.
“There’s a lot to do. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes things going on,” Jones said. “What do we need for the upcoming school year and things like that.”
Satterlee graduated from Johnstown where he was a student-athlete, and for nearly 40 years served in a variety of capacities in the school district.
“He [Satterlee] has been fantastic,” Jones said. “I am so thankful he was willing to stay on with the transition. I have a million questions and he has the answers for just about every one of them.”
Jones joined the Greater Johnstown School District on June 1 as its new Physical Education, Health, Athletics and Extracurricular Programs Coordinator. Upon completion of his NYS certification in administration, he will be reappointed as the Physical Education, Health, Athletics and Extracurricular Programs Director.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved with and serve this community and this school,” Jones said.
Jones already knows quite a few things about administrative duties and coaching and student-athletes needs. Before his move to Johnstown he served as a physical education teacher and varsity boys’ soccer coach in the Granville Central School District. Before that he was an assistant athletic director, physical education and health teacher, varsity bowling coach and varsity softball assistant at Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School in New York City.
“He came to us highly recommended,” Satterlee said of Jones, who, with his wife Hanna, resides in Saratoga Springs. “My interactions with him have been nothing but positive.”
Jones will be overseeing an athletic program that, like numerous others, will be heading back toward a more traditional pattern after the COVID-19 pandemic altered so much going back to March of the 2019-20 school year. That pattern will include longer seasons that will extend beyond Section II competition, and the bringing back of some lower-level teams that were unable to play.
“The last year and a half has been such a challenge for everyone,” Jones said. “Our hope is to get back to that sense of normalcy while doing everything the right way and following the protocols. We want to provide as many opportunities for students as we can and have them enjoy a well-rounded high school experience.”
Jones said that while he has no immediate plans to coach, he intends to be a presence at Johnstown’s athletic events, and has an expectation of what he wants to see.
“I believe it’s important how they represent Johnstown,” Jones stressed. “I want them to be good representatives of their community and their school with the way they act on the field and off the field.”
Jones earned degrees from SUNY Cortland (physical education) and Ohio University (athletic administration), and began his teaching career in the Whitehall Central School District where he coached junior varsity baseball and modified boys’ basketball.
“We are excited to have Mr. Jones join the district, and for him to have the opportunity to work alongside Mr. Satterlee prior to his retirement,” Johnstown Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw wrote on the district’s website. “Mr. Jones will learn about Johnstown from one of the best as he kicks off what we hope will be a very long and productive career as athletic director at GJSD.”
Satterlee served as a coach, physical education teacher for over 20 years, athletic director and junior high principal in the Greater Johnstown School District before accepting the interim AD position.
“I tried to give the people I was around, and the kids and programs I was around, the best I could,” Satterlee said. “No matter what the role.”
“With the retirement of Mr. Satterlee, Johnstown is losing an iconic member of the district’s athletic department,” Crankshaw wrote. “He has taught and coached thousands of Johnstown youth and left an indelible mark on all of us who have been fortunate enough to learn from him and work side by side with him.”