Covenant Classical School is happy to welcome Steve Caldwell back. As our new athletic director, you'll want to get to know Steve and learn about his vision of the future of athletics at our school.
Q. Tell us a bit of your background.
Even though I'm an accountant by degree, I've always worked in sales—in specialty food service equipment, soft serve machines specifically, and insurance products. Many years working in those industries, my family was here at Covenant Classical School. In fact, we were one of the original group that started the school back in 1996. We were very active till my fourth child graduated in 2010, following my others in 2008, 2003 and 2000. I served on the Board for a number of years, and most importantly, as it relates to my current position, I coached Girls Basketball for eight years from 2000 to 2008. I've often joked I'm the winningest coach in CCS history … and the losingest. Longevity has its advantages, and its disadvantages. In returning, it's a homecoming of sorts.
Q. Why are you passionate about sports?
My passion for sports is grounded in the fact that I'm very competitive. I played baseball, football, basketball and golf way back when. So much can be learned in life through the ebb and flow of winning and losing. I've always encouraged my teams to strive with all they have to win, always mindful that every time they do, someone else loses. Learning to win and lose with grace is something that can only be learned through competition. Once the clock expires and the game is over, you must move on to the lasting things in life. I always encouraged my own children to keep a balance, telling them many tears are wasted because there will be other things in life that will warrant shedding tears. Typically, a game is not one of them. Having said all that, I do enjoy the thrill of winning. I hope our kids will enjoy that too.
Q. What do you see as the role of athletics in education?
The role of athletics at CCS is crucial. Many times, during my years on the Board, we were faced with the reality that a student, usually in the 7th or 8th grade, was thinking about leaving for more bells and whistles elsewhere. While I'm not going to say a sports program saved anyone specifically, I'm sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that had we not had athletics, we would have seen many more leave.
While our children are here to learn, and that is absolutely the pinnacle of importance, the role of athletics cannot be understated.
Q. What are some of your goals for CCS?
Simply said, the broad goal would be to make us more competitive, while maintaining the joy kids have from being part of a team. If I had to name a specific goal, it would be to have us play baseball again. I love baseball, and I think it would be great to play it here at CCS. There are other goals, but these are certainly two that have a major and minor emphasis.
Q. What are you most excited about bringing to CCS?
The thing I am most excited about bringing to CCS is the knowledge of the school family to know that I'm a CCS guy. I am invested in the school, and if you'll pardon the expression, " I bleed CCS blood.” There’s nothing like when opposing teams get beaten by Covenant Classical. The other team already knows at heart we're the smart guys; to beat them on the field of competition is extremely rewarding.
One of the most outstanding sports memories I have in my 64 years was in the fall of 2000, when an extremely underrated Volleyball team from CCS beat a team from Woodland Academy in the finals of the conference tournament held at North Hills. Woodland had already dispatched our team easily in the regular season. But the games must be played. I still get goose bumps thinking about it. And I'm sure many of the girls—my daughter was one—still feel that way, even though many years have passed. The delight on the faces of the girls on our team was unforgettable, even though a corresponding look of sadness was certainly on the faces of the girls on the other team. "The Thrill of Victory and The Agony of Defeat." I saw it that day at a CCS.
Q. What would success look like at CCS?
Success, and this will be a challenge, will be creating an environment where the whole school family gets excited, in a sense like I did at North Hills, about the success of our sports teams. Traditionally, lower school families, don't get as excited about sports till their children reach a playing age. My challenge is to try and encourage a culture where our families begin to anticipate, while in the lower school, participation in our programs. A culture where it's not just about our teams, but how our teams fit into the whole family. It's a big challenge. I look forward to tackling it in the time I'm Athletic Director at CCS.
For information on the value of athletics, check out https://www.covenantclassical.org/blog/the-real-value-of-athletics-in-schools