A message York High School parents received on Wednesday reveals the names of the two retired athletic directors who will temporarily take the place of John Rutter, who has resigned. Both are veterans in the field.
Mike Morris is Lyons Township High School's former A.D., and Washington Bush retired from James B. Conant High School in Hoffman Estates. They will share the York AD responsibilities. Both are inductees into the Illinois Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame.
“We feel this is the best way to proceed at this time,” York Principal Diana Smith said. “In the early spring, we will begin an intensive search process to identify a new athletic director for the 2013-14 school year. Because Mike and Washington are both retired, they are limited in the number of hours each can work. We know they will make a great team.”
Smith previously announced the formation of a York extracurricular advisory group that will help improve communication and facilitate problem solving. This group will be comprised of students, parents, coaches, sponsors and administrators, and plans call for meetings twice a month. The York extracurricular advisory group will work with Assistant Principal Rob Wagner, who is in charge of student activities, as well as the two interim athletic directors.
Under the guidance of Morris, Lyons Township High School in La Grange increased the number of participants in its athletic programs from 1,200 to more than 2,000 student athletes. He worked with the entire community to create and introduce new teams to the LTHS athletic department, including boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls water polo, girls golf, boys volleyball and Special Olympics basketball.
In his last two years at LT, he took on the major initiative of renovating and planning the construction of a new field house, Olympic-sized swimming pool, wrestling facility and turf field. His overall contribution to the school community extended far beyond athletics, which helps to account for his legacy at LTHS.
Morris is a certified master athletic administrator (CMAA). He was the National Federation of State High School Associations Citation Award nominee from Illinois in 2003 and was named the Class AA Co-Athletic Director of the Year award winner in 2004. He was inducted into the IADA Hall of Fame in 2008.
Bush served as the athletic director at Conant High School for 15 years. While there, he hosted many state series events, including the IHSA girls soccer state finals. He also volunteered his time at numerous state meets. In addition, he was a member of the Northern Illinois Sports Officiating Committee, served as president of the Mid Suburban League, and served on the league’s Board of Control. He also served as the Mid Suburban League’s wrestling, swimming and water polo liaison. He is a Certified Athletic Administrator.
Steve May, Athletic Director at Wheeling High School, said Bush is "one of the finest athletic directors of his era."
"At Conant, he had the respect and admiration of his entire coaching staff and community," May said. "When your team went to Conant to compete, you knew you would be treated to a first class event.”
Outside of athletics, Bush served as a member of the United Way Board, the Big Brother/Big Sister Program and was a volunteer with the Special Olympics. He received the IADA Outstanding Athletic Director of the Year Award in 1998 and the IADA Athletic Director of the Year in 2007. He was inducted into the IADA Hall of Fame in 2011.