MEEKER I Klark Kindler and his family had just returned from a weekend trip to a wedding on the Front Range when he had the time to discuss his new job as the Meeker High School athletic director. He was getting ready for a horseback ride, one of his favorite pastimes, to Lake Peltier in the Flat Tops, with his daughter, Madison, the next day.
And before the week was out, he’d be taking next year’s varsity and junior varsity basketball teams to Gunnison for Western State Colorado University’s team basketball camp to train with 40 other teams.
Kindler was approved by the Meeker Board of Education as the new athletic director in June, replacing Brett Steinacher, who left the district for an assistant principal job in Roseburg, Ore.
Kindler has been at Meeker High School for 17 years, teaching social studies and some physical education. This last year, he taught two high school government and two U.S. history classes, one psychology and a one-credit recovery class in addition to being the high school boys’ basketball coach.
He’s been the basketball coach for all 17 years, and the team had a 23-3 record this last year, losing only in the state playoffs.
While being very excited about becoming athletic director, Kindler will also teach two government courses, one physical education class and continue to be the head basketball coach.
Entering his new job, Kindler says he will first “be concentrating on how things have been done, how they are being done, and how they should be done.”
He feels good communication with the staff, parents and the community is especially important. He suggests he has a lot to learn yet about the new job, but he knows it will include quite a bit of paperwork required by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA).
“Good organization in addition to being a good communicator is critical for the A.D. (athletic director) job,” Kindler said. He feels it’s extremely important to keep the community updated on athletic game schedules.
Included in the athletic director’s role, Kindler said, is being the mediator in disputes between coaches and players, coaches and parents and being the public relations director for the high school sports program, supporting the athletic programs and doing the most he can to help all coaches be successful.
Kindler went to high school in Evanston, Wyo., then went on to the University of Wyoming, majoring in secondary education and social studies. He spent four years teaching in Belle Fourche, S.D., before coming to Meeker.
Kindler said he was here for three years before meeting his wife, Jewell Purkey, who is now the mother of their daughter, Madison. Madison has played an important role as Kindler’s “statistics” maven for the basketball games in recent years.
The interview committee that recommended Kindler for the job included high school football coach Shane Phelan, art teacher and track coach Ben Quinn, counselor Amy Chinn, secretary Mandi Etheridge and outgoing superintendent Mark Meyer.